Greiss not on road trip; Havlat improving

Greiss not on road trip; Havlat improving
March 16, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Goalie Thomas Greiss, injured March 6 in Calgary, is 1-3 in four games for the Sharks this year. (USA Today Images)

LOS ANGELES – Thomas Greiss remains on injured reserve and is not on the Sharks’ five-game road trip, which begins on Saturday night against the Kings.

Greiss, who has been out since March 9 with what is officially being called a sore neck, was hurt when he was run over in a game in Calgary on March 7. Alex Stalock has served as Antti Niemi’s backup for the past four games, and will continue to do so for at least the next two, as the Sharks visit the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.

McLellan left open the possibility that Greiss could join the team on the road.

“He’s not on the trip at this point. He’s staying back for some therapy, getting some treatments. He’ll see some doctors this week, and we’ll get a better update as the week goes on,” McLellan said. “Not with us today, not with us to play in Anaheim, and we’ll see what happens after that.”

The timing is at least a bit fortunate in that the Sharks don’t have any back-to-back situations until March 27-28, when they host Detroit and Anaheim. Niemi, who is 11-5-5 with a 2.06 goals-against average and .929 save percentage, will undoubtedly continue to get the bulk of the work as the Sharks’ current trip is spaced out advantageously. All four of Greiss’ starts have come in either the first or second game of back-to-backs.

San Jose has a day off between games against the Kings, Ducks and Edmonton on Wednesday, two days off before a Saturday afternoon matchup in Minnesota, and another day between the Wild game and the final game of the trip back in Anaheim on Monday, March 25.

“To end up with a road trip like this keeps us on the road longer, but it does spread the games out enough where we can get in and hopefully get some rest and get settled in each city,” McLellan said.

“There’s no excuses with the way the road trip is set up.”

The other injured Sharks player is Marty Havlat, who skated again on Saturday morning with the team and appears to be nearing a return. Havlat has been out since March 2, when a lower body injury prevented him from playing in the third period against Nashville.

“We’re seeing how he is skating right now, and then we’ll make a decision as we go forward,” McLellan said. “We’ve liked the effort and some of the results over the last little bit, so we’ll make some decisions based on that, as well.”

Does that mean that Havlat’s return isn’t assured, even when he’s back at 100 percent?

“We’ve got to get him healthy first, then we’ll see where we’re at team-wise. If it doesn’t happen tonight, we’ll see where we’re at.

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