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Couture & Pederson Added to COVID Protocol, How Will Sharks Adjust?

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Credit: NBC Sports California

The San Jose Sharks have added centermen Logan Couture and Lane Pederson to COVID protocol.

That’s a significant blow to a Sharks squad looking to rebound after a “flat” 8-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner reports that Couture, at least, is doing well: “He’s feeling fine. No symptoms whatsoever.”

Logan Couture was added to protocol yesterday and Lane Pederson today. They join Mario Ferraro, who was placed in protocol on Dec. 30.

In Couture and Pederson’s stead, Boughner said that rookie pivots Jasper Weatherby and Scott Reedy would suit up tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.

Tomas Hertl will center the Sharks’ top line, between Timo Meier and Jonathan Dahlen, and Nick Bonino could line up flanked by Noah Gregor and Alexander Barabanov. That would probably make Weatherby your third-line center and Reedy your 4C.

For Weatherby, in particular, this will be an opportunity to show that some time with the San Jose Barracuda was beneficial to his game. The six-foot-four center went straight from college to the NHL this fall, and had been a constant in the line-up until he was sent down after his last appearance with the Sharks on Dec. 16. The youngster also dealt with COVID too, playing two games with the Barracuda on Dec. 21 and 31 with a spell in protocol in between.

Playing without Logan Couture, a model two-way centerman, will be a big test for a San Jose Sharks group that “got away” from its details against the Penguins.

“We played too wide open and we can’t play that way,” Boughner said, “we have to play tight and we got to play connected.”

As for Couture and Pederson, they’re currently quarantining in Detroit. Boughner indicated that the pair might rent a car and drive to Philadelphia, where the Sharks will finish their road trip on Saturday. If they’re out of protocol by then, they can fly back with the team. It’s also possible that one, or both players, could test out of COVID protocol earlier than that.

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