McLellan: Burish ‘very close,’ could be in Sharks lineup for Game 6


Shorthanded at forward for most of their second-round series vs. L.A., the San Jose Sharks may be getting some reinforcements in time for Game 6.

Adam Burish, who has missed the entire series with a broken hand, is “very close” to returning, according to Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

So close, in fact, that he might return to the lineup for Sunday’s elimination game at HP Pavilion.

Burish, 30, didn’t have a huge impact with San Jose this season after scoring a career high 19 points last year with Dallas.

In 46 games with the Sharks, he had just three points and averaged under 11 minutes per game, but he is one of the more experienced playoff performers on the San Jose roster and one of the few that’s won a Stanley Cup.

At this point, the Sharks will take whatever they can get up front.

Raffi Torres was suspended for the series after a headshot on Jarret Stoll in Game 1, while Martin Havlat’s return from injury lasted all of five minutes, and he’s unlikely to return either.



GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.