The San Jose Sharks head in to their first east coast roadie of the year. They kick things off on Long Island today for a matinee against the now pesky New York Islanders. Puck drops at 10:00am, you can watch on NBC Sports California, or as always listen on KFOX 98.5 FM.
The San Jose Sharks drop the puck in an early one today against the New York Islanders. They will do so for the first time this season without the likes of their center Joe Thornton. Thornton was placed on Injured Reserve and did not make the trip to the east coast. It isn’t all bad news however, as the Sharks do not think there is any structural damage to his knee.
Joe Thornton’s injury is an infection to his surgically repaired right knee and is going on anti-biotics according the The Athletic’s San Jose Sharks writer Kevin Kurz.
There is no timetable for Thornton’s return, but it seems like good news that there is no other structural damage. I’m not sure there is much structure left in Jumbo’s knees to damage anyway.
While on the surface this looks like good news, we all know with infections things can get a little bit weird and go downhill fast. So I’m sure the San Jose Sharks, as will we, be monitoring this situation closely
Making his debut in Thornton’s absence will be young centerman Rourke Chartier. Chartier made the team out of training camp, however he’s been scratched twice from both regular season games. Today he will try to prove to Peter DeBoer that he belongs up here with the big boys.
Chartier, we assume, will see minutes as the fourth line center, with Joe Pavelski moving over to center the first line in Thornton’s place according to the Merc’s Paul Gackle.
The San Jose Sharks are in for a tough test, as the Islanders, while without John Tavares are still quite talented up front and on their top six. With Calder Trophy winner Matthew Barzal, centering a first line of Josh Bailey and Anthony Beauvillier. As well as the duo of Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee up next.
The San Jose Sharks, on paper, hold the advantage in their bottom six, and on defense, as the Isles don’t have the firepower to contend with the likes of Evander Kane and Joonas Donskoi. Or anyone remotely close to the level of talent that the Sharks have on the blue line.
Martin Jones will be in net again for the Sharks opposite Robin Lehner, who will be making his first start in net as an Islander. So if Sharks fans know anything about guys making their debuts on a team or even in the NHL. Lehner will stand on his head today.
The San Jose Sharks should have the advantage in today’s contest, but that is why they play.