SAN JOSE – Although Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon will miss Thursday's game with the Flames, it sounds as if the 25-year-old will not be out too long with an upper body injury suffered on Tuesday in Chicago. Dillon was forced out five minutes into the first period after hitting the Blackhawks’ Jiri Sekac, seemingly favoring his shoulder.
“I think we got some good news in that we don’t think it’s long term, but he’s not available tonight,” coach Pete DeBoer said.
Dillon skated by himself on Thursday after his teammates left the ice.
“Just a day-to-day thing. Today it’s feeling a lot better than it did yesterday, and yesterday better than the day before,” Dillon said.
[KURZ: Morning Skate: Stalock, Tennyson in for Sharks vs Calgary]
Dillon called the run-in with Sekac, “Just a routine play. With my game being physical and skating, I’ve done that a million times and just for whatever reason the upper body – just a weird sensation. If it was a playoff game I would have been right back out there. Just something that I want to make sure I take care of now so it’s not bugging me for the last 30 [games].”
Dillon has one goal and five assists for six points and 51 penalty minutes this season. Thursday’s game will be his first out of the lineup all season.
In fact, the Sharks have played the same six defensemen for their last 25 games, a luxury not often afforded an NHL team’s coaching staff. Matt Tennyson will draw in Thursday for the first time since Dec. 8 when the Sharks were in Calgary, although he did have a three-game conditioning stint with the Barracuda from Dec. 30 – Jan. 4. He'll be paired with rookie Dylan DeMelo.
“We’ve been fortunate from a health perspective back there for the last couple months,” DeBoer said. “You knew eventually we were going to have to deal with some of this. Tenny went down on a conditioning assignment, played very well for the Barracuda. I think really felt good about himself. He’s been sitting awhile since then, but I think we’re all confident he can come in and get the job done.”
Tennyson said: “Excited to get back in the lineup. Like everyone, I just love to play hockey. Finally I get back in the game, it’s always a good thing. Just ready to do.”
Tennyson did dress for a game on Dec. 20 in Chicago after Melker Karlsson was a late scratch with the flu, but he didn’t take a single shift, riding the bench for all three periods and overtime. He didn’t express any feelings of ill will about the strange, and some might suggest insulting situation, though.
“It is what it is. You only worry about things you can control,” Tennyson said. “That was the coach’s decision to do that. We had a guy that was sick, so kind of an awkward way to get in. I don’t really worry about that.”