SAN JOSE – Sharks forward Marty Havlat, out since Game 1 of the first round with a suspected lower body injury, hinted on Friday that he may be an option when San Jose hosts the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 at HP Pavilion.
Havlat has been skating more and more aggressively lately, and was on the ice for about an hour on Friday afternoon.
“Getting better. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow morning,” Havlat said.
Is there a chance you’ll play in Game 3?
“We’ll see. Like I said, we’ll see how it feels tomorrow. It’s getting closer and closer.”
Despite his inconsistent regular season and his frequent injuries since joining the Sharks in the summer of 2011, the Sharks could use Havlat, who had eight goals and 10 assists in 40 regular season games. The club is already down two other forwards in Adam Burish (broken right hand) and Raffi Torres (suspension).
Todd McLellan would surely welcome Havlat back into the lineup.
“That’s Marty, mother nature and the trainer’s decision,” he said of Havlat’s availability. “I can’t speed any of those up as a coach. I hope that one day soon that he comes knocking on my door and tells me that he’s ready to go, because we could sure use him.”
Havlat said: “When I come back, I want to be able to help the team and not the other way around. That’s very important for me. We’re down 2-0, now we’ve got to win tomorrow. It’s another big game. … We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”
Some of Havlat’s best hockey has come in the postseason. In 73 career playoff games, the winger has 21 goals and 31 assists for 52 points with Ottawa, Chicago and San Jose.
He’s frustrated that he hasn’t played since the first period of the playoff opener on May 1.
“I’ve been hurt usually in the regular season and always been able to get ready for the playoffs. That’s what we dream of and that’s why we’re, playing, right? To be in the playoffs and have the chance to play for the Cup,” Havlat said. “It’s probably the worst time so far for me, I couldn’t be on the ice with the boys for the playoffs. Just trying to do my best as soon as possible.”
Defenseman Jason Demers continues to recover from a sprained left ankle, and could also be cleared to play shortly. Demers has been out since April 18.
“He’s getting closer,” McLellan said. “Today’s skate will give us a much better indication of where he’s at. He’s going to become an option here pretty soon.”
Burish, meanwhile, confirmed he broke his hand while blocking a shot in Game 4 against Vancouver. He was ruled out by the team for the entire second round, but said on Friday his goal is to return at some point against the Kings.
The Sharks were forced to shuffle up their lines for Game 3, moving Joe Pavelski to the wing on the top line with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau. The fourth line consisted of journeymen Tim Kennedy and Bracken Kearns, and Andrew Desjardins.
“We’d love to have those (injured) players back. But, we feel good about the game that Bracken [Kearns] has given us, and [Tim Kennedy] going into the lineup and being able to provide us with minutes that way,” McLellan said. “That’s why we’re a team. That’s why teams try and create depth, for these moments. There have been teams that have rallied around injuries and come on and played well. We’d like to think we can be one of them.”