SAN JOSE -- Just as the Sharks get a key piece of their blue line back into the lineup, one of their young forwards is sidelined for the regular-season finale.
Timo Meier will miss Saturday night’s contest against the Colorado Avalanche, and is considered day to day after sustaining an undisclosed injury Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers.
Meier fell awkwardly behind the Oilers' net in the third period, and he skated gingerly off the ice after Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse fell on top of him. Meier did not play in the final 10:34 of the game.
Let’s hope this video is super irrelevant by next week. Not encouraging to see Timo suffer this injury, his scoring and physicality are key factors for the #SJSharks in any playoff series. pic.twitter.com/mZgN7eYG4h— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) April 5, 2019
While Meier’s absence might inspire concern, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer assured reporters the move only is precautionary, and that the Swiss forward will be ready to play in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs next week.
“I think he would play if tonight was a playoff game,” DeBoer said. “I think we’re just being cautious with it. He’s a little sore, but he’s going to be OK.”
With Meier’s absence opening a spot in the lineup, winger Joonas Donskoi gets the opportunity to impress the coaches after being a healthy scratch Thursday against the Oilers. Although Donskoi hasn't scored a goal since Jan. 10, DeBoer likes what he’s seeing from the Finnish forward as of late.
“I loved his game last game,” DeBoer said, recalling how Donskoi played Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks. “Throw another one of those games out, [and] keep making us think about you when we’re penciling in the lineup.”
Donskoi filled in for Meier on San Jose’s top line during Saturday’s morning skate, taking rushes with Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski.
Meier has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last six games. Entering Saturday, he ranked third on the Sharks with 30 goals, and fourth with 66 points.