YSTL: Game 7 loss to Kings low point for Sharks franchise?
SAN JOSE – It was a difficult first full year in San Jose for forward Raffi Torres.
Suffering a torn ACL in the preseason prevented Torres, who signed a three-year, $6 million contract extension with the team last summer, from playing in all but five regular season games. He returned for a brief stretch after the Olympic break, but sat out the final 17 regular season games only to return again for the playoffs.
He indicated on Friday that he was nowhere close to being at 100 percent.
“At one point there I was just skating around kind of like ‘what am I doing on the ice?’ It’s just part of it. You want to be out there,” Torres said. “I’ll get healthy this summer and come back, and come back stronger.”
Torres described his Game 7 experience as “skating around pretty much on one leg. … It was just a struggle to get up, just to get on the ice.”
The Sharks didn’t offer a full list of injuries on Friday, as the team convened at its practice facility for one final time. Perhaps that’s because general manager Doug Wilson said that he didn’t want to use injuries as an excuse for his team becoming just the fourth NHL club to squander a 3-0 series lead.
Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, though, was a notable loss after he left Game 5 in the first period and missed the remainder of the series. After Game 7, Todd McLellan revealed that Vlasic had a head injury and a lower body injury from a hit by the Kings' Jarret Stoll.
"It was tough,” Vlasic said of missing games. “Watching at home in Game 6, even in Game 5, watching in the locker room. It's tough when you're watching, knowing that you could have been out there maybe making a difference to help your team win. It's tough."
Vlasic said he might have been able to return had the team advanced to the second round.
"I think so. We took it day-by-day,” he said. “If we move forward that gives me two extra weeks, so yeah, I probably would have been all right. It's hard to say, but yeah."