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Labanc will make his return to the Sharks lineup Sunday

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Labanc will make his return to the Sharks lineup Sunday

Мнениеот elvafeng » 14 Ное 2017, 04:15

Coach Pete DeBoer knows he can’t pull Joe Thornton out the Sharks lineup without his cooperation. But he didn’t hesitate to reduce his minutes Saturday night, acknowledging that the future Hall of Famer isn’t “100 percent.”

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After leaving the ice during one practice last week and then sitting out two more, Thornton skated for a season low 14 minutes during the Sharks 5 0 win at SAP Center Saturday https://www.sharkssjfans.com/logan-couture-jersey-c-22.html, the second consecutive game in which he’s received less than 16 minutes of ice time.

Thornton is getting 17 39 of ice time this season. He averaged 18 04 last year before he suffered tears in the medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on April 2.

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According to DeBoer, Thornton’s reduced ice time Saturday was a product of circumstance the Sharks spent 7 57 on the penalty kill, the fourth line was tilting the ice and the team was playing the first game of back to backs with the first place Los Angeles Kings 11 3 2 on the schedule for Sunday.

“If I was to say he was 100 percent healthy, I wouldn’t be truthful, so he’s not,” the Sharks coach said. “But he’s good enough to help us out there.

“It wasn’t alarming.”

Although he isn’t 100 percent, Thornton ranks second on the Sharks 9 6 in scoring with 10 points in 15 games. Nevertheless, he’s posted a sub 50 percent possession rating in five of his last eight games https://www.sharkssjfans.com/mikkel-boedker-jersey-c-24.html, and when the Sharks reassigned Kevin Labanc to the Barracuda last week, DeBoer acknowledged that the 21 year old’s entire line, which included Thornton and Joe Pavelski https://www.sharkssjfans.com/ryan-carpenter-jersey-c-23.html, “wasn’t getting a lot done.”
Still, DeBoer insists that he isn’t seeing a significant drop off in Thornton’s health since opening night on Oct. 4. With that being said, he doesn’t know whether the 38 year old will ever be 100 percent again.

“That’s a good question,” DeBoer said. “I can tell you Andrej Sekera in Edmonton had knee surgery at the same time last year and he still isn’t even on the ice. I don’t know if it’s the same surgery, but I’m assuming it’s similar.


“This guy’s pushing the envelope. We’re dealing with that. But that’s the greatness of him.”

At this point, DeBoer can’t envision a scenario where he’d pull Thornton out of the lineup even if the 38 year old needed a couple games to rest his knee. He trusts that Thornton would have the self awareness to sit himself if he was starting to drag the team down.

“I don’t think he would take a day off , that’s the thing Kevin Labanc Jersey, and he’s a lot bigger than me, so I’m probably not going to force him,” he said. “Let’s be honest, he’s a great player. At 80 percent, he can still help us.”

— Timo Meier insists that he didn’t intend to smack Vancouver Canucks defenseman Michael Del Zotto in the chin Saturday. He was simply reacting to being hauled down in the heat of the moment.

Meier received a 2,403.67 fine from the NHL Department of Player Safety Sunday, the maximum allowable under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players’ Association, for the play that got him a five minute major and a game misconduct penalty at 18 37 of the third Saturday.

“I didn’t mean to punch him in the face,” Meier said. “It might look bad, but I didn’t intend to hit him in the face. I’ve got to accept the fine and move on.”



DeBoer said he doesn’t have an opinion on whether the fine issued to Meier suited the crime.

“I didn’t even look at it closely,” he said. “I don’t know, five years ago, they wouldn’t even talk about that, and now, all of a sudden, it’s a headline.”

— Labanc will make his return to the Sharks lineup Sunday, taking Jannik Hansen’s spot after spending two games in the minors on a reassignment with the AHL Barracuda.

The Sharks sent Labanc to the Barracuda last week to give him an opportunity to regain his confidence after he recorded just one point over six games. The idea was to stop him from falling into the type of slump that derailed his season last winter when he notched just one goal over his last 31 outings.

Labanc recorded a goal and three assists in two games with the Barracuda. The Sharks rank 22nd in the NHL in goals per game 2.73 and dead last in five on five offense 22 goals .


“He played great. He was the best player on the ice down there,” DeBoer said. “Let’s be honest, the guy’s got seven points in the games he’s played and he creates offense every night. The guys we’re deciding on pulling in or out aren’t doing that, so it’s hard to keep a guy like that out of the lineup when you’re looking for offense.”
elvafeng
 
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