Don’t change a thing.
That’s at least what legendary hockey broadcaster Doc Emrick believes when it comes to Sharks defensemen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson.
“They take good care of themselves,” Emrick told NBC Sports California recently. “You can’t control that you’re going to have a broken body. Keep in mind that Erik Karlsson has played a lot of hockey in his time and he probably needed this time, this long time to be off.”
Karlsson missed the remainder of the 2019-20 season after suffering a broken thumb during a game against the Winnipeg Jets in February. It also happened during a tough season for him individually. He had just 40 points (six goals, 34 assists) in 56 games.
Emrick believes this could be somewhat of a blessing in disguise for the four-time All-Star to come back after he’s fully healed.
For Burns, it’s the same thing. Not in that he was injured necessarily, but the extra rest could prove beneficial.
“I love being around both of them, but in particular I love joking around with Brent Burns,” Emrick said. “We never made a connection because he may know that I don’t like reptiles or talking about them too much, not all of us do.”
Burns has a huge love for reptiles -- specifically his collection of more than 300 snakes.
That’s … another blog, but Burns’ athleticism and ability to score from the back end proves he and Karlsson don’t have much improvement to worry about.
Both Burns and Karlsson were ranked among the top 20 NHL defensemen recently, so both are due for a bounceback season. They just need to show up healthy and hungry, which Emrick is confident they will.
If you want to read more about his legendary career and how he came from a small Indiana town to become the voice of hockey, check out Doc Emrick’s new book “Off Mike.”