Havlat hits a wall; Couture says he's fine

April 3, 2012, 6:29 pm
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DALLAS Marty Havlat has hit a bit of a wall. Again.

The Sharks winger announced his return to the lineup from a partially torn hamstring with four goals and two assists in his first six games from March 15 20. Since then, Havlat, who missed 39 games after getting hurt in mid-December, has just two assists in his last seven.

He admitted on Tuesday its been more a struggle lately after that initial rush of adrenaline.

I think everybody has to go through it. The beginning youre pumped up and everything, and then a little slide, Havlat said.

He added that he feels not bad physically, but Im trying to get back the way I was at the start. Its uphill right now.

Its not the first time Havlat has experienced the feeling of hitting a wall when returning from a serious injury. In fact, hes already done it once as a Shark. Havlat had offseason shoulder surgery causing him to miss all of training camp and the first four games of the regular season. He had eight points in his first eight games back (1g, 7a), but just one assist in the following nine.

The pattern is the same, Todd McLellan said. He missed the beginning of the year and came back and was on fire for the first three or four games, and then kind of settled in. The same thing happened here, we got a really good four or five games in late March from him, and now hes kind of settled in.

Hes got to push himself. Hes got to push his limits, and his limits arent the same as they would be if he played 82 games, but he has limits and has got to push himself a little bit further, a little bit harder, and try to expand what hes got going for him right now.

The Sharks packed March schedule hasnt exactly helped.

The legs, and all the games were playing basically every other day since I got back. Thats most important, to get the body used to this game schedule and practice schedule, Havlat said.

Another struggling Sharks winger, on the other hand, insists health is not an issue when it comes to a lack of production. Logan Couture hasnt scored in his last 10 games tying a career-long drought but isnt blaming it on anything physical.

I feel fine. I didnt know it was 10 games without a goal, so weve got to change that, Couture told me Tuesday morning. Ill take games without scoring a goal if we can just win them. Weve got to stick to our game, put the individual stuff aside, and stick to our team game now."

Couture missed his only two games of the season on Feb. 28 and March 1 with a suspected knee injury.

Its the end of the year. Everyones beat up. No excuses.