DETROIT Of the three injures the Sharks suffered in a span of just a few minutes early in the third period of Sunday's 3-2 loss to Detroit, none looked scarier than when Joe Pavelski was drilled in the side of the head by a Nicklas Lidstrom slap shot.With about 15 minutes left in regulation, Pavelski dove in front of Lidstrom as the All-Star defenseman wound up inside the blue line, and the puck hit the Sharks forward squarely in the helmet. He was slow to rise to his skates but eventually made it up the tunnel and into the visitors locker room at Joe Louis Arena.At that point, any player suspected of having a concussion is sent to a quiet room and evaluated by the on-site team physician, and Pavelski apparently passed the ensuing tests.Thats not to say he isnt a little concerned, though.
You still hope nothing comes about later, because you have seen guys come back later or the next day, or two weeks later and say something hasnt felt right, Pavelski said. Im glad we have the day off tomorrow, or at least a lighter day, and well see how we go.The Sharks are scheduled to practice in Columbus on Monday afternoon.Its bound to happen once in awhile, you go down like that. Im just glad I took it there and not in the face, said Pavelski, who was on the ice when Patrick Marleau scored with 4:44 left in the game.Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a puck deflect into his face early in the third, just before Pavelski went down. Colin White took a shot shortly after Pavelski, and missed a stretch of time, too. A bloodied Vlasic was the only one who did not return after McLellan said the puck glanced off of his visor and hit him kind of in the nose.Its a double-edged sword, because youre real proud that your team is prepared to sacrifice themselves, but then youre worried about their health after, McLellan said.