SAN JOSE -- Not all blocked shots are the same, even for San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Vlasic was credited with four blocked shots in San Jose's 3-2 victory against the Nashville Predators in Game 2 of their Western Conference Second Round series at SAP Center on Sunday, giving him a team-high 23 in seven games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
But Vlasic has never had a blocked shot like the one he had early in the third period.
With the Predators on the power play, Nashville defenseman Shea Weber, whose shot has been clocked at more than 108 mph, took a slap shot from the point; Vlasic blocked it with his visor and cheek.
"I think it dented my visor and hit my cheek," Vlasic said. "I'm OK."
Vlasic was stunned for a moment and dropped to the ice. But he skated off under his own power, missed one shift and returned to the ice.
Vlasic said he had no time to react to Weber's shot.
"Oh, no," he said. "108 mph, I guess you don't see it. But that's part of blocking shots, isn't it."
When it's a Weber shot, what you can't see can hurt you.
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"Scary," fellow defenseman Roman Polak said. "Especially when it's Weber. He has a big shot. It's always scary, but thank God it got him in the visor or the side of the head there. It's always scary to see a teammate go down like that."
Vlasic is high on the list of players the Sharks can't afford to lose. Two years ago when the Sharks took a 3-0 lead but lost the next four games in a first-round loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Vlasic was injured in Game 5. He played 5:38 in that game and missed Games 6 and 7; his absence was a huge blow to San Jose's defensive corps.
Vlasic missed the final 12 regular-season games this season with a knee injury, but he returned for Game 1 of San Jose's first-round series against the Kings and picked up where he had left off.
"I feel good," Vlasic said. "I didn't practice yesterday, I didn't practice today, so it's all about keeping your energy for the game and feeling good. Now, I feel really good. I couldn't feel any better."
Thanks to his protective visor.
"He got fortunate," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "It was Shea Weber's slap shot off the head. Thankfully these guys wear helmets."