SAN JOSE –- Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan is questionable for Friday’s game against the Coyotes after getting hit squarely in the face with a puck on Wednesday night, while fellow blueliner Marc-Edouard Vlasic is unlikely to play either Friday or Saturday when the Sharks skate in a home-and-home with lowly Arizona.
Hannan left the Sharks-Avalanche game about eight and a half minutes into the third period after Brent Burns’ clearing attempt hit him just below the left eye. His face was pretty severely swollen on Thursday.
“We’ll see,” is all Hannan would say when asked about his availability for Friday’s home game.
At practice on Thursday, John Scott, who has NHL experience on the blue line, skated in Hannan’s place, but Todd McLellan said that a recall from the AHL would be a more likely option should Hannan have to miss time. (UPDATE: The Sharks recalled defenseman Karl Stollery from Worcester on Thursday afternoon. Stollery was acquired from Colorado on March 2 in exchange for Freddie Hamilton).
Vlasic remains out with a lower body injury. The Sharks are 3-2-2 without their top defenseman in the lineup this season, including Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Colorado.
In goal, Antti Niemi, who has been ill, will likely get back in, according to McLellan. Alex Stalock has started the last three games, but is now the goalie that’s more harshly under the weather.
Stalock said he hasn’t been feeling well since the Sharks game in Detroit one week ago, but thought he would get over it quickly. A doctor’s visit later on Friday was in his future.
It’s a good bet that Niemi and Stalock are dealing with the same bug, as they’re close friends that sit next to one another on the team plane.
“They're around each other a lot and review a lot of their games together, sit together on the plane and do all that kind of stuff,” McLellan said. “Two weeks of travel on that plane, day after day, that germ travels pretty quick there.
“They're not the only ones not feeling good. There's a number of guys going through it right now.”
Stalock is 3-0-1 with a 1.20 goals-against average and .945 save percentage in his last four starts.
“It's disappointing for him because he's got the rhythm and the team has played well in front of him,” McLellan said. “Nemo's very capable of going in and our group will play in front of him. I know they will.”
Mike Brown, out since Dec. 9 with a broken bone in his right leg, could return against the Coyotes on Friday, likely in place of either Scott or Barclay Goodrow on the fourth line.