Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

The San Jose Sharks are now winless through eight games to start the season. Despite a few performances early on that could have ended up going either way, a majority of the team’s games haven’t been pretty. They’ve had a difficult schedule to start the season, and of course, that gets a lot of credit for their struggles. With that being said, the fact that, to paraphrase David Quinn, two of their three best forwards have been out to start the season.

Logan Couture is undoubtedly one of the Sharks’ biggest weapons, and it’s been quite a while since he’s seen game action. Mikael Granlund being regarded in that way is debatable, but Quinn clearly believes in what he saw from him during training camp. Getting these two back from injury would be massively helpful to a team that desperately needs some help. 

Offensive Production is Nonexistent

The Sharks have scored eight goals through eight games; simply put, they’re not going to win any games in the modern era of the NHL if they can only average one goal a night. They lost a major chunk of their offense when they traded away Erik Karlsson during the offseason, but so far this season, their second biggest contributor has been on the shelf. Couture’s 67 points last season aren’t incredible going by today’s standards, but for a team at the bottom of the league, it could be enough of a difference-maker to at least put a couple of wins on the board. Considering only two players on the roster have more than a single goal, Fabian Zetterlund and Filip Zadina are tied for the team lead with two; it’s hard to imagine that Couture wouldn’t quickly overtake both of them in that regard when he’s fully healthy. 

Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Granlund won’t make the same level of impact as Couture, more than likely, but secondary scoring is a major issue for the team as well. Having some offensive contributions from the bottom six would be massively beneficial. The fact that Henry Thrun has been in the American Hockey League (AHL) since Oct. 18 but is still tied for third on the team in points is concerning. The rookie defenseman, who only played two games for the Sharks, is ahead of names like Mike Hoffman, Anthony Duclair, Kevin Labanc, and the recently injured Alexander Barabanov in scoring. 

Sharks Need More Out of Stars

The current Sharks roster doesn’t have much star power, but those who do fall in that category need to perform at a higher level. Tomas Hertl currently leads the team in points with five but has only put one in the back of the net himself. Meanwhile, prior to his injury, Barabanov was pointless through six games to start the season. Duclair was brought in to be a big contributor following his impressive performance in the playoffs last season with the Florida Panthers but has only appeared on the scoresheet once this season.

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Inserting both Couture and Granlund into the lineup would help overall depth, which in turn can help get each of these players going at a higher level. A top-nine center core of Hertl, Couture, and Granlund is certainly much more impressive than Hertl, Nico Sturm, and Jacob Peterson. Having linemates of that caliber will help not only the aforementioned star players contribute, but also players like Hoffman, William Eklund, and Thomas Bordeleau who have been less than stellar to start the season themselves. 

Related: Sharks Struggling to Play a Full 60 Minutes

Bluntly, the Sharks are in a very bad place at the moment. Having Granlund and Couture back in the lineup won’t launch them into a complete 180, but it will help them right the ship and perform at a more acceptable level for a rebuilding team. Granlund may return this weekend, but there’s still not much information out there regarding Couture’s return other than the fact that he’s been on the ice more in recent days.

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The post Sharks Desperately Need Couture and Granlund in Lineup appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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