The Sharks have been without Radim Simek for nearly two weeks after the defenseman took a nasty hit from Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault in San Jose's official home opener on Feb. 13.
However, it appears San Jose will have Simek back for Saturday's contest against the St. Louis Blues, as the 28-year-old was activated off the Injured Reserve on Thursday.
Simek landed on the IR after Marchessault's cross-check in the second period of the Sharks' 3-1 loss to Vegas. The two were no strangers to the fierce rivalry between the Sharks and the Golden Knights and had already exchanged a few hits prior. However, the blow by Marchessault behind the net ultimately knocked Simek out of the game with an "upper body injury" and onto the IR.
Marchessault's hit didn't sit well with Bob Boughner, but how his team responded bothered the coach even more.
“The initial hit you can argue is a little bit high, but I think it’s the nature of the hit, I think it was retaliatory,” Boughner said (h/t Bay Area News Group's Curtis Pashelka). “I thought that [Simek] was physical on Smith on the first shoulder-to-shoulder puck battle. It looked like Marchessault came in, keying on Simmer and the hit.
“Again, my issue is more the second time around when Simmer was already stung that he came in and added insult to injury, and that’s on us. I mean, it looked to me like someone taking a shot at one of our players and I didn’t like our response. That’s something we are addressing."
Simek should be cleared to play Saturday, and hopefully for the Sharks, the team is cleared as well. San Jose had to postpone Thursday's scheduled contest vs. the Golden Knights after Tomas Hertl was placed in the NHL's COVID-19 protocols.
While no rescheduled date for that matchup has been provided, the Sharks are expected to proceed with Saturday's game against the Blues after no additional team tests yielded any further positive results.