San Jose Sharks Logan Couture Should Return This Week


After a bad week on the ice last week, the San Jose Sharks received some good news off the ice as the Sharks activated Logan Couture from Injured Reserve.

Couture has appeared in only three games this season with one assist after he suffered a fractured right fibula at his ankle in practice during San Jose’s first road trip of the year. With Couture out of the lineup, the Sharks were one game under the .500 mark with an 11-12-0 record.

His return comes at an opportune time for San Jose as the Sharks have lost their last three games and four of their past five.

As Kevin Kurz of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area noted, Couture returned to practice today and assumed his normal place on San Jose’s second line alongside Patrick Marleau and Joel Ward. The interesting dilemma for Peter DeBoer will be whether he slots Couture back at the center position, which is expected, or if he keeps Marleau there since he’s been very effective in Couture’s absence.

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Regardless of position, the Sharks should welcome the addition of Couture as he should only help San Jose’s 13th-ranked offense. They might need to rely on their offensive firepower as Marc-Edouard Vlasic will miss the next two games while dealing with a lower-body injury.

Last year, Couture was second on the team in scoring with 67 points (27 goals and 40 assists).

Also on the injury front, it appears Ben Smith will be joining the Sharks for their two-game trek against the Calgary Flames and Edmonton OilersIt’s been a rough year for Smith as he’s battled a concussion which has forced him to miss a majority of the season.

While San Jose still isn’t fully healthy, their forward group will be as healthy as it’s been at any point this season with the expected returns of Couture and Smith. The Sharks will be able to ice four lines that can consistently pressure the puck and get back to the style of hockey that DeBoer likes to play.

Furthermore, a fully stocked arsenal of forwards will lead to more competition within the group, and should make for some tough decisions on who is penciled into the lineup on a night-in, night-out basis.

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It’s taken them nearly 30 games into the season, but it’s great to see this Sharks team finally getting over the injury-bug that has hampered them in the early going. Now is the time for some consistency to develop within this San Jose team as they get into the meat of their regular season schedule.