The San Jose Sharks obviously find themselves in a must-win situation heading into Game 6. Down three games to two against their division rivals, the Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks will need to hold serve at home on Sunday before trying to steal a Game 7 on the road.
In trying to do so, they may be getting a piece of their lineup back sooner than they had expected. While Adam Burish isn’t the type of player who’s going to make a tremendous difference, by any stretch of the imagination, he would be a welcome presence for the Sharks.
If there’s one advantage that the Kings have over the Sharks it’s their depth. The Sharks’ fourth line has been rough for much of the series, having been so bad that Todd McLellan went as far as dressing defenseman Jason Demers on the fourth line, making Tim Kennedy a healthy scratch.
Burish was initially ruled out of the Western Conference Semifinals series after sustaining a hand injury in the first round. Despite that initial prognosis, he was questionable for Game 5 and heads into Game 6 with a similar status. He could be ready to go in a must-win situation.
Not that the Sharks will rely on him to produce offense. He had only three points in 46 regular season games. His career high is only 19. If he’s going to be put into the lineup, it’s not going to be to put up points.
If Burish is added back into the mix, he’d add a versatile presence to that bottom line. He can win some faceoffs, going 53 percent in the regular season and adds that physical, agitating presence. With the Kings’ tendency to take penalties, having someone like that to try and get inside of their heads might be a great asset to have around.
There’s no guarantee that Burish will be ready go. But there’s no doubt his return this early would be a welcome one for the San Jose Sharks.