Sharks activate Clowe, Niemi out


Sharks activate Clowe, Niemi out

SAN JOSE -- Sharks left wing Ryane Clowe, who's missed six games with a facial fracture, will return tonight to face the Dallas Stars. Goalie Antti Niemi, though, suffered a minor injury in Wednesdays in practice at Sharks Ice and won't suit up.

He took a shot in practice and wont play or backup today. He feels pretty good today, and I think it will be a one-day thing, Todd McLellan said on Thursday morning.

In corresponding moves, defenseman Jason Demers was placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury and the team called up reserve goalie Tyson Sexsmith from Worcester to serve as backup. Thomas Greiss will start.

Clowe is anxious to return, but will have to wear a visor for the time being for added protection.

I think its just probably smart for at least another little bit to keep it on, make sure I dont have anything happen or get smacked there again, he said. It was weird, really weird. Today was the first time I wore a visor in awhile. It was a little better than a cage.

Clowe wore a cage immediately following his injury against Minnesota on Jan. 10, playing in three subsequent games before coming out of the lineup.

He started skating on Monday for the first time in two weeks.

I think the first period will be a bit of a battle tonight; Im sure Ill be sucking wind a little bit, he said. Im sure Ill have spit and snot and everything else on my visor that Ill be trying to battle through. Thats what Ive got to get used to, and the legs come after that. Ive got to be able to see first.

Does he expect to hear any chirping for wearing a visor from the Stars, perhaps from noted agitator Steve Ott?

Maybe. I think they know that theres something going on if Ive got a visor on. Theyve seen my act before, Clowe joked.

Meanwhile, Greiss will start in goal, while Antero Niittymaki, who passed through waivers last week, was reassigned to Worcester.

Sexsmith, who was named to the 2012 AHL All-Star Team, is fifth in the AHL in goals-against average (2.15), and ninth in save percentage at .925.

The Sharks have not allowed a goal in more than two games, dating back to Jan. 23 in Edmonton. Niemi recorded back-to-back shutouts against Calgary on Jan. 24 and Columbus on Tuesday.

Greiss is 6-4-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 11 games this season.

Marleau shows off his Maple Leafs colors at Sharks' practice facility


Marleau shows off his Maple Leafs colors at Sharks' practice facility

There was a dash of blue among the teal and white sweaters at the Sharks captain’s ice session on Wednesday.

Patrick Marleau, who signed a three-year, $16.75 million deal with Toronto in the offseason, was among the dozen or so skaters that were on the ice at the Sharks’ practice facility with training camp a little more than three weeks away. The 37-year-old was dressed head to toe in his bright blue Maple Leafs attire, likely a shocking sight for longtime Sharks fans that saw in a San Jose sweater for the first 19 seasons of his career.

It’s not uncommon for the Sharks, or other teams, to allow players from other teams to utilize their local practice facilities before training camp begins.

Among Sharks skaters also taking part in the skate were Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Joonas Donskoi, Aaron Dell, Ryan Carpenter and Kevin Labanc. 

Thornton, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery on his ACL and MCL, looked to be moving well. He signed a one-year, $8 million contract extension with the Sharks in the offseason.

The Sharks will hold their first on-ice training camp session on Friday, Sep. 15.

Marleau makes his first appearance as a visiting player at SAP Center on Oct. 30.

Five months after taking puck to face, Sharks' Logan Couture 'still pretty sore'


Five months after taking puck to face, Sharks' Logan Couture 'still pretty sore'

Nearly five months after taking a puck to the mouth that resulted in major damage, Logan Couture is still dealing with the aftereffects of his surgically repaired mouth, which now features several false teeth.

Appearing on the NHL Network this week, Couture was asked how he’s feeling with less than one month to go before the Sharks open training camp on Sep. 14.

“There’s good days and bad days,” Couture said. “My bottom teeth are still my real teeth. They’ve tried to keep them so I don’t lose them. I don’t know if I’ll be able to, they’re still pretty sore. My top teeth are all fake now – my front six, I think. So, it’s different. It just feels different in my mouth. 

“But everything else with my face and all that is healed. I’m lucky that it’s an injury that didn’t affect my training, and hopefully won’t affect me going forward.”

Couture was injured on March 25 in Nashville. He was set up just outside the crease in the offensive zone when a Brent Burns point shot hit a stick before squarely battering the now 28-year-old’s mouth.

After missing the final seven games of the regular season, Couture returned for the Sharks’ playoff opener. He managed to play in all six games of the first round loss, posting two goals and one assist for three points, although he struggled at times and was seemingly targeted by the Oilers.

Couture is currently in his hometown of London, Ontario where he’s staging a casino event for brain research. Fellow Sharks Chris Tierney and Dylan DeMelo will take part, as will other NHL stars like the Kings’ Drew Doughty.