The San Jose Sharks were dominated 3-0 by the Los Angeles Kings in a Game 5 loss, and just to add injury to insult, their top defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic sustained an injury in the first period and his status is uncertain for Game 6.
Coach Todd McLellan told reporters after the game that Vlasic has an upper body injury, and does not know if he will be ready for Game 6. Late in the first period, Vlasic was checked hard into the boards by Kings’ forward Jarret Stoll as they were both pursuing a loose puck. Stoll received a minor penalty for roughing, while Vlasic limped into the dressing room and did not return in the game.
If Vlasic cannot play in Game 6, it will be a huge loss for the Sharks. He doesn’t provide a lot of scoring — five goals and 19 assists during the regular season — but Vlasic is as solid a defensive player as any in the NHL. He ranked second among defenseman in the league in plus-minus at +31, and was selected to play for Team Canada during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
There is no doubt that the Sharks need Vlasic on the ice, given that the series has taken an unfortunate turn for the Sharks.