Pavel­ski hopes to be healthy for Game 7 at the Shark Tank

The Tribune (SLO) - - Front Page - BY JOSH DUBOW


Cap­tain Joe Pavel­ski was get­ting sta­ples put into his bloody head when the San Jose Sharks staged an epic come­back in Game 7 of the open­ing round against Vegas.

Now that the Sharks have been forced into an­other ul­ti­mate game after miss­ing a chance to elim­i­nate Colorado in an over­time loss on the road, they are hope­ful of get­ting their leader back on the ice for the first time since then.

Per­haps the big­gest ques­tion head­ing into Game 7 at the Shark Tank on Wed­nes­day is whether Pavel­ski will be healthy enough to make a dra­matic re­turn against the Avalanche. Coach Peter DeBoer said that will hap­pen as soon as doc­tors give him the OK.

“I’m not hid­ing any­thing,” DeBoer said Tues­day. “He’s day to day. He’s get­ting bet­ter ev­ery day. We’re go­ing to make a de­ci­sion on game days whether he’ll be avail­able or not.”

The win­ner of the game ad­vances to play the win­ner of Tues­day night’s Game 7 be­tween Dal­las and St. Louis.

Pavel­ski’s injury hap­pened mid­way through the third pe­riod in Game 7 against Vegas on April 23 with San Jose trail­ing 3-0. He was cross-checked by Cody Eakin after a face­off and then bumped by Paul Stastny be­fore falling awk­wardly to the ice head first. The im­pact of Pavel­ski’s hel­met slam­ming the ice knocked him out briefly and caused him to bleed from his head.

A dazed Pavel­ski was helped off the ice by his team­mates and then had eight sta­ples put in his head to stop the bleed­ing. While that was go­ing on, his team­mates scored four power-play goals dur­ing the ma­jor penalty to Eakin that even Pavel­ski ac­knowl­edged was not war­ranted.

San Jose ul­ti­mately won the game on Bar­clay Goodrow’s over­time goal to ad­vance to the sec­ond round. Pavel­ski was un­able to travel to Colorado for Games 3 and 4 but got back on the ice while his team­mates were away last week. He made an emo­tional ap­pear­ance at the Shark Tank dur­ing the third pe­riod of Game 5 to fire up the crowd and trav­eled to Den­ver for Game 6, where he took part in the morn­ing skate.

“It still re­ally is day-to-day,” Pavel­ski said be­fore Game 6. “Wish I had a set-in-stone an­swer – go here, do this and be ready. We’re tak­ing every­thing into play.”

No mat­ter what hap­pens with Pavel­ski, the Sharks will need bet­ter per­for­mances from sev­eral of their other for­wards who have been mostly in­vis­i­ble this se­ries. San Jose was sup­posed to have the bet­ter depth up front, but that hasn’t been the case so far.

Joe Thorn­ton and Kevin La­banc have gone five straight games with­out a point. Evan­der Kane and Mar­cus Sorensen haven’t recorded a point for four straight games, and the fourth line has gen­er­ated al­most no of­fense.

Joe Pavel­ski

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