Martin Havlat Sharks

San Jose activates Havlat, looks to be in vs. Nashville (Update: He’s in)

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Big news from the Bay Area as the Sharks announced RW Martin Havlat has been activated from injured reserve. Havlat, 30, has been out of the San Jose lineup since partially tearing his hamstring against Edmonton on Dec. 19 (on this freak injury):

The Sharks are hoping Havlat’s return will spark their offense. A six-time 20-goal scorer, Havlat has just two through 26 games this season but has proven to be an efficient sniper when healthy. During his three seasons in Chicago, Havlat scored 64 goals in 172 games (Average: 30 per 82) while playing with a set of skilled forwards comparable to San Jose’s.

That said, San Jose’s forwards are struggling to find the back of the net lately. The Sharks haven’t scored more than three goals in a single game since Feb. 16 — a stretch of 14 contests — and have just 11 goals in all of March.

(If you’re wondering why the Sharks picked tonight for Havlat’s return, do consider they’re playing the Preds — Havlat has 37 points in 30 career games against Nashville.)

According to David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News, Havlat took morning line rushes with Ryane Clowe and Patrick Marleau on a new-look second line.

UPDATE: Here’s Havlat talking to San Jose’s Dan Rusanowsky, confirming he’s back in the lineup.


Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.