Sharks face stiff test before break vs. Avalanche
Logan Couture enters Monday night’s game with the Avalanche with no goals in his last nine games. (USATSI)
Programming note: Avalanche-Sharks coverage begins tonight at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE – Sharks center Logan Couture is getting his scoring chances. Unfortunately for the talented 24-year-old, those chances haven’t resulted in a brightening of that little red light above the net.
Couture enters Monday night’s Sharks game with the Avalanche with no goals in his last nine games, and just two in his last 18. Head coach Todd McLellan revealed that he sat down with Couture on Monday morning before the Sharks’ pregame skate at SAP Center.
“It was very causal,” McLellan said. “Over the years, we’ve developed a good relationship where I think I can share anything I need to share with him, and vice versa. In this situation it was just to sit, have a coffee together, and talk about his game and where he is in the season – fatigue wise, bumps and bruises, and ask him how we think we can help him.
“I told him for the most part the opportunities that he’s had and have not gone in, are immense. They are posts, they are crossbars, they are knobs. It would be easy to get down and really start losing your confidence. But, when you tally them up and show him those clips, a fraction here and a fraction there, we’re probably talking about a 10-goals-in-15 games type streak. It can go one way or the other, that’s how tight it is to score.”
Does that mean McLellan thinks it’s just a matter of time before Couture, who is fourth on the team with 10 goals, will start scoring again?
“Well, yeah, but I don’t like how the clock is ticking … I’m sure he doesn’t, either,” the coach said.
As for Couture, he admitted there is some frustration, as he’s poured 70 shots on goal over the last 18 games, or an average of nearly four per game. There’s also reason to believe he might be battling through some sort of nagging injury, too, as he missed the team’s practice on Friday and didn’t take part in an optional morning skate on Saturday before the Sharks hosted Dallas.
“I want to score goals. I want to help our team offensively. That’s something I need to be better at. Everyone on this team knows that, including myself,” Couture said.
“It’s frustrating going through tough times, but that’s the way this game is. There’s not going to be positives for 82 games, but I’ve got to find my way out of it. I’ve got to get out there and get some chances, and put in. That’s what it comes down to. It’s not about getting chances anymore, it’s about scoring goals.”