Logan Couture (Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture played less than two full games after missing nearly two months following a broken leg, and now it appears he’ll be on the shelf for another two weeks due to an arterial bleed that required surgery. Couture will not join the Sharks on their five-game road trip.
The Sharks are struggling mightily right now and have lost their past six games, and news isn’t getting any better for San Jose as center Logan Couture, who has suited up for just five games this season, won’t be back before the holiday break.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer told CSN’s Kevin Kurz that Couture, who left in the second period of San Jose’s Dec. 9 loss to Edmonton, will not be joining the team on their five-game road trip. The trip sees the Sharks swing through Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa before games against two of the west’s best in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Couture suffered an arterial bleed that required surgery to be repaired, but the injury was said to be unrelated to the previously broken fibula that Couture suffered earlier in the season. The Sharks also said the injury would not sideline Couture long-term. However, after missing nearly two full months due to the broken leg, it appears Couture’s most recent ailment is going to claim another two weeks of his season.
In the five games Couture has been able to play, he has contributed two assists and averaged 15 minutes of ice time, but his minutes were down significantly upon returning from the broken leg. The Sharks were staying afloat in the Pacific Division without Couture, but they could desperately use his help to end this current skid, which has seen the Sharks drop from second in the division to fourth in less than two weeks. In all of December, the Sharks have picked up one point and have been outscored 20-9.
Couture is a major piece of the Sharks offense and has grown into a contributor on the defensive side of the puck over the past few seasons. Couture has become a second-unit penalty killer and his four goals and seven points make him one of the most prolific shorthanded scorers in the league since the 2012-13 season.
With Couture out, the Sharks will have to continue to mix up their lines. Couture skated with Joel Ward and Patrick Marleau upon returning, but DeBoer has since shaken up his lines. Against the Minnesota Wild, Marleau skated with Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl, while Ward spent much of his time skating with Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson.
No target date for Couture’s return has been set, but it’s possible his return could coincide with a five-game Sharks home stand from Dec. 28 to Jan. 9.