San Jose Sharks forward Andrew Cogliano returned to the team Sunday after being with his family while his daughter, Olive, was hospitalized.
Cogliano has missed three games, but flew back to Columbus on Friday and is expected to be in the lineup when the Sharks wrap up their five-game road trip against the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
“It was a couple tough days, especially for my wife,” Cogliano said. “(Olive) is not a year old yet. My job is hockey and no one loves the game more than me. But my first priority is being a dad and my girls at home.”
Cogliano says Olive is back home and doing well now thankfully after “a little bit of a scare.”
As for his return to hockey, the 34-year-old winger watched his teammates compete against New Jersey and the New York teams, and saw improvements with their efforts on both ends of the ice.
“I see a team that is very committed defensively,” Cogliano said. “The team is playing the right way. We’re a team that knows the position we’re in and it’s fighting for points and fighting for wins. We’re very motivated. So that was what I saw from the three games, I guess. It was really great to see.”
With two goals and five points in 20 games alongside primarily Nick Bonino, Cogliano has developed good chemistry with his ex-Anaheim Ducks teammate.
The Sharks' first goal is the season is a shortie from Andrew Cogliano 💥 pic.twitter.com/OV1DzuwefN
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) October 17, 2021
Cogliano joked about Bonino finally getting off the schneid: Bonino had started the first 18 games of the season with a point, but now has three goals in his last six contests.
“When you’ve done things that he’s done and you’re a winner like that, you demand a lot of respect. I think a lot of people have perspective in our room,” Cogliano said two weeks ago. “You’re going to see his offensive side come out and his whole game round into something that this team really needs.”
“I was right, wasn’t I?” Cogliano said, smiling, of Bonino’s recent scoring run.
Cogliano’s play style complements his counterparts of Bonino and Matt Nieto to make an effective checking third line behind Couture’s and Hertl’s.
“Bonino is a really good player to play with because he does things the right way,” Cogliano said. He’s comfortable to play with because he plays the game properly. Matt Nieto is very efficient. He plays the game hard. He skates well when he’s on the puck.”
San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner knows his third line provides some stability with the veteran presence of the trio, so having Cogliano penciled back in fills a hole when shorthanded.
“It was good for him to be back,” Boughner said. “I think we missed that veteran presence. He’s a calming effect. And obviously our PK could use a little jolt right now.”
The line of Cogliano, Bonino, and Nieto has mostly been utilized for key defensive zone matchups and in parts on the penalty kill. However, they are looking to take that jump offensively with their mix of speed and strength on the puck when they get their chances.
“I think we could be a line that can hopefully do some good things,” Cogliano said. “I don’t think we’ve shown our best when we’ve been with each other. We’re three veteran guys and we’ve been around long enough to know how to read off each other and I think we got to try to do that tonight.”
Only one in the Lou this regular season pic.twitter.com/PdCplaMGSA
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) November 18, 2021
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