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Blog Entry

Sharks' Burns leaves game after knee-to-knee hit

Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:47 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 1:22 am
 

By Brian Stubits

The San Jose Sharks took a tough loss in Edmonton on Monday night, dropping the game 2-1 in a shootout despite dominating the Oilers to the tune of a 45-18 advantage in shots.

What made it even tougher was the hit that star defenseman Brent Burns took in the third period, having a knee-on-knee hit from Ales Hemsky that knocked Burns out of the game. It also knocked Hemsky out of the game via a five-minute major (on which the Sharks scored their only goal of the game) and a game misconduct.

Here's a look at the play.

It can't be comforting at all seeing Burns having to be helped off the ice without putting much if any weight on his right leg, favoring the knee. It looked bad, really bad.

"It felt bad right away," Burns said after the game. "Almost threw up on the bench. He's [Hemsky] not that kind of player. Wasn't his fault."

In the good-news department, Burns reportedly walked onto the bus without assistance, including by the way of crutches. The upcoming All-Star break comes at a good time in that it gives them a few extra days off to further evaluate

But the mood wasn't overly optimistic after the game. From Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area:

“They’re still evaluating. I know he doesn’t feel good. I would doubt that he’s going to play for us tomorrow, and the doctors and the medical group have to really evaluate him to give us an update,” said the coach.

The Sharks have eight healthy defensemen, but [coach Todd] McLellan is still worried about San Jose’s prized offseason acquisition.

“Very high level of concern. It’s knee-on-knee, he doesn’t return, and you see him in there he’s not walking very well. I am concerned.”
The Sharks traded for Burns in the offseason, sending a pretty penny package of Devin Setoguchi, former first-round pick Charlie Coyle and a first-round pick in the last draft to the Wild for the defenseman. It was part of their summer objective to bolster the defensive corps in San Jose.

His numbers are down from the offensive production he put up in Minnesota, but he has been playing much better of late, raising his season total to seven goals and 10 assists thus far.

The question has to be asked if Hemsky, who is a target of a lot of trade speculation, will face any punishment from the league. Brendan Shanahan has punished players this season for knee-to-knee hits already. But to me it doesn't seem as bad as some of the others, seems more accidental than anything. I don't see Hemsky going out of his way to go knee-to-knee or leaving it out there long enough for the contact. I agree with Burns' assertion that it wasn't Hemsky's fault, it was more of an accident.

“For sure, he isn’t [at fault]," Burns reiterated about Hemsky. "I know that. It happens. It’s a quick game, and just a quick reaction. I’ve been on the other end. It’s quick, and it’s not his fault, I know that.”

The Sharks will hope it was nothing but a scare.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

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