An already-battered San Jose Sharks team took another blow today with the announcement that Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson are ruled out of Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. This announcement comes following speculation that they did not join the team in travelling to St. Louis. This news came alongside the announcement that Joe Pavelski would be a game-time decision after missing the morning skates.
Erik Karlsson and Hertl Out
Don’t even see a stall set up for Karlsson or Hertl in #SJSharks room. Pavelski has one but did not take part in morning skate.
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) May 21, 2019
These injuries come at an incredibly inopportune time for the Sharks, who are looking to avoid elimination tonight in St. Louis. Both Erik Karlsson (2 goals, 16 assists, 14 points) and Hertl (10-5-15) have been sparks for San Jose’s dynamic, high-powered offence, and veteran Joe Pavelski has added a respectable 4 goals and 5 assists of his own during the 2019 post-season campaign.
Karlsson, Hertl out, Pavelski a game time decision pic.twitter.com/PLm5qO4lXt
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) May 21, 2019
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer will have several options to fill his starting lineup out in light of these absences, but none with the firepower of Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl. Tim Heed looks to be a likely choice to shore up the blue line, but the additional possibility of missing Joe Pavelski makes things even harder for the Sharks.
The Sharks have dropped 2 games straight following their 2-1 overall series lead against the Blues, including a lackadaisical 2-1 loss in St Louis and a 5-0 drubbing back in San Jose, the game in which most of these injuries occurred. There was worry that Timo Meier and Joonas Donskoi were also injured in that game, but they will both take the ice tonight as a depleted Sharks team tries to force a game 7.