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Nabokov injury may not be bad
McLellan comments ease concerns
11/7/08 - By Mike Lee

Evgeni Nabokov's injury on Thursday night is bad enough that he won't be playing on Saturday night Against the Stars. It's also unlikely that he'll make the trip to Phoenix on Sunday when the Sharks square off against the Coyotes. Now for the good news. Nabokov's injury may not be that bad.

"The news was a lot more positive than we thought it would be yesterday," Sharks Coach Todd McLellan told San Jose Mercury News reporter David Pollak on Friday. "From what I understand, it's not nearly as concerning as it was last night."

For now, the Sharks will lean on backup Brian Boucher, who has turned in two solid performances this season. Boucher has yet to give up a goal, stopping all 43 shots he's faced this season. Granted Boucher's shutouts have come against the Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning, but his play with the Sharks over the past two seasons has been consistent.

The Sharks list Nabokov as having the opaque "lower body injury", but anyone that watched the final play of Thursday's game against St Louis can attest to the fact that the injury is most likely centered around the goaltender's left knee.

The "surgery" word is not something the Sharks are using, and McLellan's comments suggest that Nabokov may be back sooner than later.

The schedule also looks favorably on the Sharks, who play once on the road over the next eight days, and Nabokov will more than likely not play at Phoenix. That means he's not even required to get on a plane for at least a week. If the injury requires more rest, the Sharks travel to Chicago and Nashville on November 16th & 17th, then don't have another road game until the end of the month.

San Jose recalled Thomas Greiss on Friday to serve as Boucher's backup. Greiss has a 4-5-0 record this season with the Worcester Sharks. His generous 3.22 goals against average and .860 save percentage don't exude much optimism should the Sharks need to rely on him. The Sharks also signed Boucher last season because they didn't feel Greiss was ready to handle the backup duties full time.

The Sharks also recalled left wing Brad Staubitz and returned Jamie McGinn on Friday.


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