Sharks notebook: Couture ready to roll

Sharks notebook: Couture ready to roll

March 23, 2011

Brodie Brazil
The Sharks had an optional skate Wednesday, with a lower than usual attendance on the ice, but that was because the team just got two straight days of full practice. Expect the morning workouts to be continually shorter as this regular season grows longer.

Logan Couture says he is feeling just fine; coach Todd McLellan says absolutely Couture will play against Calgary.

RELATED: Couture day-to-day with lower body injury

Nic Wallin was held out of practice following the hit he took in Dallas, but is feeling better and will be a gametime decision. That means the Sharks could dress seven defensemen.

Dany Heatley returns from the suspension he received after the Dallas game, for the hit on Steve Ott.

WATCH: Dany Heatley discusses suspension, hit on Ott
Antti Niemi will make the start in net for the Sharks.

Brandon Mashinter was packing his bags in the dressing room. It seems likely that hes heading back to Worcester immediately.

RELATED: Sharks transactions

The team updated the condition of Kent Huskins. He is rehabbing from an upper body injury, but it wasnt certain what the timetable was forhis return. He says the action which took him out was an innocent forechecking play where he went into the boards awkwardly.

Scott Nichol skated Wednesday morning before the team did; he is likely closer to returning than Huskins is.

Topics we will cover tonight on Sharks Pregame Live:

- The playoff race is the ultimate competition, but are the players finding a way to have fun with it? Some really good reactions.

- Considering the recent Dan Boyle and Couture scares, plus Heatleys return, do the Sharks feel lucky and glad to be firing on all cylinders?

A's option RHP Hahn to Triple-A; LHP Detwiler opts out of deal

A's option RHP Hahn to Triple-A; LHP Detwiler opts out of deal

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's optioned starter Jesse Hahn to Triple-Nashville on Sunday and announced that lefty Ross Detwiler has opted out of his minor league contract to become a free agent.

Hahn got off to a strong start this spring but struggled mightily in his last two starts, giving up 12 earned runs combined.

His demotion brings Oakland's rotation into focus, with Andrew Triggs and Raul Alcantara lined up to take the final two spots in the rotation behind Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton. Sonny Gray will begin the season on the disabled list.

Detwiler was on the fringe of the rotation competition and also could have been a bullpen consideration.  But he also stumbled as the spring wore on.


Sharks need to 'figure it out pretty soon' after another thrashing

Sharks need to 'figure it out pretty soon' after another thrashing

NASHVILLE – Apparently, one wake up call wasn’t good enough for the plummeting San Jose Sharks.
Just one day after suffering what was arguably their worst game under coach Pete DeBoer, Nashville put up a touchdown on the Sharks in a 7-2 win, giving San Jose its sixth straight defeat – all in regulation.
After getting outscored 13-3 the last two nights, including Friday’s 6-1 loss in Dallas, where do they go from here?
“In two years, last year and this year so far, we haven’t had one night like this almost. Now we have back-to-back nights,” Joe Pavelski said. “I think it’s just a reality check. A gut-check time.
“It’s on us as players. Bottom line is we haven’t put the effort in that we need to have right now, and it snowballed on us a little bit at times. I think we’ve got to take a deep breath and really take a look in the mirror, refocus a little bit and understand there’s hockey out there, but it’s not going to fix itself.”
What has to be fixed immediately is the defensive structure that has been so vital to the Sharks’ success in the Pete DeBoer era. Even when the club was going through stretches of struggling to score, as it was earlier in the season, it was still collecting points in the standings with its ability to limit the opposition’s scoring chances.
While the game against the Predators was actually a little better in that regard, believe it or not, it was still nowhere near the level it needs to be for the postseason. Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s absence was partly to blame for that, but the Brent Burns-Paul Martin pair has been a disaster lately. Both have a minus-nine rating during the six-game losing streak, and that number is indicative of how they’ve looked, too.
“We’re giving up some goals. It’s a combination of things,” DeBoer said. “Obviously it’s not good enough to win games, so we’ve got to figure it out. I don’t have an answer standing here for you, but I know our group. Every team I’ve ever coached has a tough part of the season. This is obviously ours. We’ll regroup, and figure it out.”
Burns, who admitted to a “bad read” on Nashville’s second goal when Roman Josi sped around him, said: “It’s a tough league when you’re not executing little things.”
The Sharks actually looked strong early, poised to put the Dallas disaster behind them. The first few shifts, they had the puck in the Nashville end.
But Tomas Hertl was outmuscled behind the net by Colin Wilson on Colton Sissons’ goal at 4:14, Burns got beat on the second, and the Sharks never recovered. Patrick Marleau’s second period power play goal offered life, but that was extinguished 24 seconds later when James Neal answered with a power play goal of his own. The Sharks never got closer than two goals after that.
“When things are going bad, those are the things that are happening,” Burns said of Neal’s response to Marleau’s marker. “So, you’ve just got work through it."
Will they be able to work through it with just seven games left in the regular season, though? That this cold spell is happening in late March doesn’t speak well to the Sharks’ chances in the postseason, which begins in just two-and-a-half weeks.
Burns said: “Right now we should be just tightening up everything. … We've got figure it out pretty soon.”