Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

Couture Needs Help, Can Barabanov Provide It?



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Check out my “Sharks Pregame Live” hit!

Sheng Peng: Hello from Tech CU Arena and Sharks Ice!

The San Jose Sharks have just completed morning skate and there will be some big line changes tonight for their match-up against Toronto.

Evgeny Svechnikov is moving up with Tomas Hertl, Alexander Barabanov is playing with Logan Couture, and Luke Kunin is lining up with Nico Sturm on the third line.

It makes me think of what I heard a couple nights ago from an NHL scout at San Jose Sharks-Vegas Golden Knights.

“They’re asking them to do too much.”

What that means is that the Sharks are asking some good players to take on too much of a load.

The No. 1 guy that I think of in that regard is Logan Couture, who has had a carousel of wingers this year.

He has just two goals and two assists through nine games so far.

But he’s also played with Nick Bonino, Noah Gregor, Kevin Labanc, Luke Kunin, you name it. Last year, it was Matt Nieto and Jonathan Dahlen.

And no offense, but none of these wingers are top-six for a playoff-caliber team.

Credit to Couture, who told The Athletic yesterday, basically, I make $8 million, I need to elevate my wingers.

And there’s some truth to that. But flipside, we asked David Quinn the same question, does Couture need help to drive offense.

And he said, unequivocally, “No question.”

The San Jose Sharks are trying to get Couture going by putting Barabanov with Couture. Barabanov is the Sharks’ second-best offensive winger after Meier.

The Sharks, honestly, are running out of options for their line combinations, so hopefully this one takes.

And speaking of more line combos, I am standing in front of Tech CU, home of the San Jose Barracuda and the San Jose Sharks’ top prospects William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau.

Now wouldn’t that be a fun line, a new “Two Kids and a Goat” line featured Couture with Eklund and Bordeleau. I know Couture and Bordeleau both play center, so someone’s got to move, but you have to think that kind of move would energize the veteran Couture.

Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.

Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info

SJHN on Facebook