SAN JOSE – The Sharks’ revolving door on defense continues to be just that.
Dylan DeMelo, who will miss approximately eight weeks with a broken right wrist, is the latest injury. Paul Martin, who missed Wednesday’s game in Calgary with a lower body injury, did not practice on Friday.
David Schlemko, though, is apparently ready to return from missing the last five games with an upper body injury.
Schlemko was hurt on a crunching hit by the Kings’ Jordan Nolan with about five minutes left in the third period on Dec. 31 at Staples Center, but has been skating for more than a week. Indications are he will play against the Blues at SAP Center on Saturday.
“As far as I’m concerned, I think I’m good to go,” said Schlemko, who has one goal and seven assists in 30 games. “Kind of nagged for a little bit, but I was only off the ice for a couple days. I’m definitely still in shape, and got my skating legs under me.”
DeBoer, who specified that Schlemko’s injury was not to his head, said: “We’ll see how he wakes up tomorrow, but if he’s healthy enough to play, he’ll play.”
As for Martin, DeBoer said: “I think he’s going to be fine, but we’ll see how he is tomorrow morning.”
Rookie Tim Heed, meanwhile, remains with the club and will likely play against St. Louis if either Schlemko or Martin is not able to go. He was paired with Schlemko for Friday’s practice, while Brenden Dillon was with Brent Burns.
In 16:29 of ice time against the Flames in his NHL debut, Heed had one shot, four attempts and two blocks while playing mostly with Dillon. His ice time was likely heavier than he anticipated, due to Mirco Mueller being kicked out of the game less than seven minutes into the first period after the Sharks’ coaching staff left him off of the lineup card.
“I was kind of surprised when [Mueller had to leave], but I just tried to focus on my game, tried to play my game, and tried to make it as good as possible,” Heed said. “I’m happy with the ice that I had, so I’ll take it.”
DeBoer said: “For a first game, it was pretty impressive. … I think Tim came in and he was moving his feet, and wasn’t second-guessing himself. He was shooting the puck. I thought he was effective and made a difference in the game, and helped us.”
The 25-year-old Sweden native also saw time on the second power play unit, although it was less than a minute, as the Sharks only had 2:42 of power play time. The offensive-minded defenseman had nine goals and 21 assists for 30 points in 27 games with the Barracuda prior to his recall.
“I like to join the rush and shoot the puck and contribute offensively, but I still want to play a solid two-way game,” Heed said. “Obviously, I see myself more of an offensive guy.”
* * *
Joonas Donskoi also missed Friday’s practice with an upper body injury, and he’s questionable for Saturday.
The Sharks’ lines for practice (listed below) included Patrick Marleau rejoining the top line in place of Timo Meier.
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Kevin Labanc – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson