After playing the first two games — then sitting the next two — Mikkel Boedker will draw back into the San Jose lineup tonight when the Sharks take on the Oilers in Game 5 of their first-round series.
Boedker will replace Joonas Donskoi, who’s been a lineup regular thus far. Donskoi has appeared in all four games, registering an assist while averaging 13:15 TOI per night.
Boedker, meanwhile, was averaging 15:13 TOI prior to getting parked. Head coach Peter DeBoer has used the press box as a motivational tool for the 27-year-old previously — during the regular season Boedker was benched, then healthy scratched — so that could be what’s happening here.
This is a fairly big opportunity for Boedker to salvage his first season in San Jose. It’s largely been a disappointment. Signed to a fairly lucrative four-year, $16 million deal in free agency, the expectation was that Boedker’s lighting quick skating ability and familiarity with DeBoer (the two were in tandem in OHL Kitchener) would be a boon for San Jose.
Boedker proceeded to only score 10 goals and 26 points for the Sharks, well off the career-high 51 points he scored last year.