Erik Karlsson was scratched from the San Jose Sharks Saturday night matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The decision was made just before puck drop sparking speculation that his lower-body injury is more severe than initially thought.
Sharks Erik Karlsson Injured
Erik Karlsson, not in the SJ lineup tonight, is nursing an injury…not believed to be serious
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 20, 2019
After participating in the first few minutes of warm-ups with the Sharks, Karlsson ultimately left the ice and headed back to the dressing room. The veteran is dealing with a lower-body injury which kept him out of action for a chunk of the third period on Tuesday in a competition against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After the Sharks victory over the Pens, head coach Peter DeBoer stated that Karlsson had limited ice time as a “precaution.”
Despite the injury, the defenseman logged 25:48 minutes of ice time just one day later when the Sharks fell to the Arizona Coyotes. After the loss, Karlsson was reportedly limping in the Sharks locker room. Karlsson was noticeably absent from the teams practice Friday and sat out of the teams optional morning skate on Saturday.
What this means for the future
Karlsson is a cornerstone of the Sharks defensive group. The injury could be a huge setback for him as he’s been white hot as of late. The veteran notched 27 points in his last 28 games. This season, he’s tallied three goals and 40 assists for 43 points in 47 games. He averages almost 25 minutes of ice time a game, so his absence will be felt. Joakim Ryan slotted into his place on Friday as the team suited up against Tampa Bay.
Currently, the severity of his injury is still unclear. Coach DeBoer previously seemed unphased as he insisted that Karlsson would dress for Saturday’s contest. At this point, the Sharks have not announced a time table for his return. San Jose’s next competition is Monday against the Florida Panthers.