SAN JOSE -- When addressing the media during the Sharks' recent string of losses, coach Peter DeBoer made mention of the coaching staff evaluating certain players and determining who would receive the bulk of the play time when the playoffs finally start.
“Some of these auditions, guys better take advantage of them,” DeBoer said at the time. “Because they don’t go on forever.”
With some health questions yet to be answered for the Sharks, and only one game left on the regular-season docket, it still isn’t completely clear what lineup we will see when San Jose hosts the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night -- or exactly how the lineup will shake up once the Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs get underway.
On the transaction front, Team Teal reassigned forward Lukas Radil to the AHL Barracuda on Friday as the team returns home for its regular-season finale. Radil missed the Sharks' last four games with what DeBoer categorized as a lower-body injury.
Prior to that, Radil had been a healthy scratch for almost a month before returning to the lineup March 21 when the Sharks visited the LA Kings. He scored a goal in San Jose’s 5-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on March 28.
As of Friday afternoon, there was no definitive word if Radil would suit up for the Barracuda when they host the Grand Rapids Griffins over the weekend.
Joonas Donskoi was a healthy scratch Thursday in favor of Micheal Haley when the Sharks visited the Edmonton Oilers, despite having a strong game against the Vancouver Canucks in an effort to snap a goal-less drought that has been going since Jan. 10. DeBoer did tell the press, however, that despite Donskoi slumping in the second half, it isn’t the last time we’ll see the Finnish forward this season.
“I think he’s going to help us at some point, but he’s got to wait for his chance to get back in,” DeBoer said.
Donskoi might get that chance depending on the health of another Sharks forward. Timo Meier exited Thursday’s game in Edmonton after taking an awkward fall, and he's believed to have injured his wrist.
DeBoer told the media after the game that he didn’t have an update on Meier’s status but hoped the ailment was “not too serious.” The Swiss forward is ranked third on the team with 30 goals and fourth among all Sharks skaters with 66 points on the campaign.
In addition to waiting on an injury update on Meier, Sharks fans continue their wait to see when Erik Karlsson will return to San Jose’s blue line. No. 65 took part in Sharks practice Wednesday for the first time since being sidelined with a lower-body injury on Feb. 26 against the Boston Bruins. Karlsson even accompanied his teammates onto the ice for pregame warmups over the road trip.
The plan still appears to be for Karlsson to be 100 percent ready to play when the Sharks kick off Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs on home ice next week. Whether he gets a tune-up game Saturday is, like other aspects of the Sharks' lineup, still a mystery.