Wingels hurt, Vandermeer close to return


Wingels hurt, Vandermeer close to return

SAN JOSE The Sharks suffered another injury to their forward group in Thursday nights loss to Ottawa, as Tommy Wingels was hurt in the third period. Hell miss at least the next three games leading up to the NHL All-Star break with an upper body injury, according to Todd McLellan.

Wingels was recalled on Jan. 5, and was skating on Joe Thorntons line along with winger Joe Pavelski in the previous two games with Ryane Clowe out.

Wingels collided with Pavelski and Ottawas Chris Neil in front of the Sharks bench with 15:34 remaining in the third period, and appeared to grab his right arm in pain on what seemed like an innocent play.

With Wingels out, forward Andrew Desjardins took some shifts in his place late against the Senators. Thats how they lined up for Fridays practice at Sharks Ice, too.

We have some options, but probably no different from what weve been doing, McLellan said. Well try and audition a bunch of people. We cant just focus on the one player thats auditioning there, the other two have to perform and help out in that area, too.

Desjardins seems likely to get the first crack at it, though, just as Jamie McGinn did on Tuesday against Calgary before Wingels replaced him after the first period of the 2-1 shootout win.

Its just another opportunity, Desjardins said. Try to stick to my game and still do the same things. Hopefully, it works out.

Desjardins returned on Thursday from a two-game absence with to a head injury after getting hit illegally by Columbus Dane Byers last Saturday, playing just over 11 minutes. His first shift was a good one, as he set up Brad Winchester for what was the Sharks only goal against Ottawa.

He tried not to shy away from any physical play, despite the frightening moment his last time out.

You try to think about, youre healthy, youre good to go, and that youre ready to play, Desjardins said. You try not to stay away from physical stuff just because of that reason, because again, youre healthy and back ready to play. You move on, and get your game going to how it was before.

The Sharks are expected to recall a forward from Worcester in time for Saturday afternoons game in Vancouver.

Frazer McLaren remains on waivers until Saturday, at which time he will be reassigned to Worcester if he goes unclaimed.

Vandermeer close

Sharks defenseman Jim Vandermeer could make his return on the teams three-game road trip through Canada, McLellan said.

His injury, right now I would say its probably 99 percent, said the coach. Now, its about getting his game, his foot speed and reaction time back. So, were that close. If we get the clearance, it would be nice to get him in before the break so he doesnt go longer.

Vandermeer has missed the last 20 games with a left hand injury.

After losing Quick, LA Kings place backup goalie on IR

After losing Quick, LA Kings place backup goalie on IR

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings placed goalie Jeff Zatkoff on injured reserve Saturday after he hurt his groin during a morning skate, setting in motion a chain of events that will force the Kings' top minor league affiliate to use a father-son goaltending tandem.

The Kings recalled goalie Jack Campbell from the AHL's Ontario Reign after their latest goaltending injury. Jonathan Quick is already sidelined for several months with a groin injury.

With Campbell gone, the Ontario Reign were forced to get creative to fill their net for their game against San Jose on Saturday night.

The Reign's starter will be 22-year-old prospect Jonah Imoo, and his backup will be his 46-year-old father, Dusty, the Kings' development goaltending coach.

Dusty Imoo played 15 seasons of pro hockey in the North American minor leagues and Japan. The British Columbia native also played for Japan at the Nagano Olympics in 1998.

Dusty Imoo's pro career ended in 2006, and he hasn't played professionally in North America since 1992. He was a goaltending coach in the Winnipeg Jets' system before joining the Kings last season.

Jonah Imoo will make his first AHL start for the Reign, who had the prospect in training camp. He was recalled from the low minors when the Reign lost NHL veteran Peter Budaj, who was recalled when Quick got hurt.

Budaj is likely to start for the Kings against the Canucks.

Zatkoff had to be helped off the ice after getting hurt several hours before the Kings' home game against Vancouver. The veteran backup was the Kings' top goalie in the absence of Quick, who injured his groin in the first period of the season opener.

Campbell is the Dallas Stars' former first-round pick. He is 2-0 with a shutout in his first two starts for Ontario.

Sharks have fond memories of Joe Louis Arena: 'Tough to see it go'


Sharks have fond memories of Joe Louis Arena: 'Tough to see it go'

DETROIT – When listing the greatest Sharks moments at Joe Louis Arena, now in its final season as home of the Red Wings, none will ever top Jamie Baker’s goal in the 1994 playoffs when San Jose shocked the top seed in seven games in the first round. That score essentially put the Sharks on the NHL map, and kick-started their success as a franchise in the Bay Area.

But some current Sharks also have fond memories of the place, headed into their final game here Saturday night, barring a meeting in the Stanley Cup Final. 

Logan Couture scored his first career goal at Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 5, 2009, slipping a feed from Joe Callahan through Chris Osgood’s five-hole. Patrick Marleau was a part of some vicious playoff meetings between the two organizations before Detroit moved to the Eastern Conference, and scored one of the biggest goals of his career at Joe Louis - an overtime playoff goal in Game 3 of the second round in 2010.

“We played a lot of hard hockey games here, but being able to score an OT winner like that it definitely sticks with you for the rest of your career,” Marleau said.

The Sharks downed the Red Wings in the 2010 playoffs in five games, and again in 2011, a seven-game series in which San Jose nearly blew a three-games-to-none lead.

“There were some huge playoff rivalries, obviously series going back-and-forth. A lot of great hockey has been played here,” Marleau said.

Couture grew up in London, Ontario, about an hour-and-a-half drive from Detroit, and lists Steve Yzerman as one of his hockey idols.

“It’s fun coming back here for me and some other guys that are from the area,” he said. “Obviously, a lot of my friends grew up watching the Red Wings. … It’s one of the buildings that I enjoy playing in, so it’s tough to see it go.”

No one in the Sharks organization, though, has more ties to the Detroit area than head coach Pete DeBoer. The 48-year-old moved to nearby Windsor as a teenager and played for the OHL Spitfires for four years in the late 80’s, and was the head coach of the Detroit Whalers from 1995-97 before they relocated to Plymouth, Michigan.

He recalled being around many of the players and coaches that helped the Red Wings win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998.

“I was coaching with Paul Maurice, and Scotty Bowman was coaching the Red Wings in their heyday. We would get to practice right after they practiced in the morning,” DeBoer said. “Being around that group and those people, Yzerman and all the Russian players they had at the time, and the coaches. It was just a lot of great, great memories. 

“Sad day, it’s a great building. But, time moves on.”