San Jose will be without stalwart defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (upper-body) four a fourth straight game tonight against Arizona and, in light of what’s turned into a fairly lengthy absence, the Sharks tried to clear the air this afternoon by insisting Vlasic doesn’t have a concussion.
Of course, that only left people to ask: If it’s an upper-body injury and not a concussion… what is it?
Responding to published reports, Sharks coach Todd McLellan on Friday flatly denied that Vlasic had a concussion that was suffered Feb. 4 in Calgary against the Flames. In that game, Vlasic missed half of the second period and part of the third before he returned to finish the game. At the time, McLellan said Vlasic was dealing with an equipment issue.
Vlasic played 24 minutes the next night against the Vancouver Canucks and skated the morning of Feb. 7 before the Carolina game, hours before he was scratched. Vlasic said the next day he was suffering from a cold, but also said he ate a bad lunch. McLellan said at the time that it was an upper body injury and soon after, Vlasic was put on injured reserve.
Worth noting that if the timing on Vlasic’s “equipment issue” is accurate, it’s a pretty long issue, considering there was an 18-minute intermission between the second and third periods.
It’s also worth noting that CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz described the Feb. 8 media session — the one in which Vlasic said he had a cold and ate a bad lunch — as “strange.”
Whatever the case, it’s not good news for the Sharks. Vlasic is second on the team in TOI per game (22:20) and is second to Brent Burns for goals by defensemen, with six.