by Mike Chen on 04/29/09 at 10:58 PM ET
Injury news is starting to trickle out of the Sharks locker room, and while no one should use injuries as an excuse for the loss, everyone had basically known that captain Patrick Marleau was skating with some sort of knee injury through the last few weeks of the season. Now the truth is revealed: a sprained MCL, something that could take 4-8 weeks of staying off the knee depending on the severity of the injury. It does explain how Marleau, who was on a better than a point-per-game pace for about 3/4 of the season, dropped off at the tail end of the year.
In 2004, Joe Thornton played in Boston’s first-round series with bruised ribs and was basically run out of town for being ineffective. Will the Bay Area media give Marleau a little more leeway knowing that he had this injury or will this be the end of the line for the long-time Shark? He did score the game winners in both wins against Anaheim, and other than one bad series against Detroit a few years back, has generally been the Sharks’ most effective playoff performer since 2004.
Tangential to this, Milan Michalek and Joe Pavelski are now representing their countries at the World Championships. The Sharks’ secondary scoring failed to come through after a great regular season but these guys are obviously healthy enough to play in international competition. Knowing this, solely targeting Marleau for the team’s loss seems a bit overreactive.
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