SAN JOSE – When addressing the media during the Sharks' recent string of losses, head coach Peter DeBoer made mention of the coaching staff evaluating certain players and determining who would get the bulk of the play time when the playoffs finally got underway.
"Some of these auditions, guys better take advantage of them," DeBoer said at the time. "Because they don't go on forever."
With some health questions yet to be answered for the Sharks, and just one game left on the regular season docket, it still isn't completely clear what lineup we will see when San Jose hosts the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday – or exactly how their lineup will shake up once the Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs get underway.
On the transaction front, Team Teal reassigned forward Lukas Radil to the AHL Barracuda on Friday as the team returns home for their regular season finale against the Colorado Avalanche. Radil missed the Sharks last four games with what DeBoer categorized as a lower-body injury. Prior to that, he had been a healthy scratch for almost a month before returning to the lineup on March 21 when the Sharks visited the LA Kings. He scored a goal in San Jose's 5-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on March 28. As of Friday afternoon, there was no definitive word if Radil was going to suit up for the Barracuda when they host the Grand Rapids Griffins over the weekend.
Joonas Donskoi was a healthy scratch on Thursday evening in favor of Micheal Haley when the Sharks visited the Edmonton Oilers, despite having a strong game against the Vancouver Canucks in an effort to snap a goalless drought that has been going since January 10. DeBoer did tell the press, however, that despite slumping in the second half that it isn't the last time we'll see the Finnish forward this season. "I think he's going to help us at some point, but he's got to wait for his chance to get back in," he said.
Donskoi may get that chance depending on the health of another Sharks' forward. Timo Meier exited Thursday's game in Edmonton after taking an awkward fall and is thought to have injured his wrist. DeBoer told the media after the game he didn't have an update on Meier's status but hoped the ailment was "not too serious." The Swiss forward is ranked third on the team with 30 goals and fourth among all Sharks skaters with 66 points on the campaign.
In addition to waiting on an injury update on Meier, Sharks fans continue their wait to see when Erik Karlsson will return to San Jose's blue line. No. 65 recently took part in Sharks' practice on Wednesday for the first time since being sidelined with a lower-body injury on February 26 against the Boston Bruins.
Karlsson even accompanied his teammates onto the ice for pregame warmups over the road trip. The plan still appears to be for Karlsson to be 100-percent ready to play when the Sharks kick off Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs on home ice next week. Whether he gets a tune-up game in on Saturday against the Avalanche is, like other aspects of the Sharks lineup, still a mystery.