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Couture, Sturm Will Play Tomorrow



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Logan Couture is back.

45 games into the season, the San Jose Sharks captain will finally make his season debut tomorrow against the Anaheim Ducks.

“I expect to play tomorrow,” he said after practice today.

Couture has missed the entire season with an undisclosed lower-body injury.

Couture Talks Injury: ‘When you’re injured, your mind does some crazy things’

It’s been a huge hole in the line-up. Last year, Couture led Sharks forwards with 67 points. After Tomas Hertl, he was also their second-most used forward, a staple in all situations.

While it’s hard to say how much the 34-year-old will play in the early going, as he eases his way back into game action, the 10-31-4 Sharks need all the help that they can get, especially with do-everything center Mikael Granlund leaving their last game with a week-to-week upper-body injury.

Granlund will miss at least the next three games, Quinn confirmed today.

San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn says that he hasn’t decided who Couture will play with yet tomorrow, but based on practice today, he should line up with Fabian Zetterlund and Alexander Barabanov.

Where Should Sharks Play Couture, Center or Wing?

Barabanov has struggled this season, with just three goals and five assists in 25 games, but perhaps playing with Couture will invigorate the pending UFA. Before this season, from 2021 to 2023, the 29-year-old winger averaged a healthy 0.63 Points Per Game.

Zetterlund, on the other hand, has enjoyed a breakout campaign. The 24-year-old winger, acquired from the New Jersey Devils in the blockbuster Timo Meier trade last season, is second on the San Jose Sharks with 12 goals.

“I think he’s more confident in himself, in his game,” Couture said of difference between Zetterlund now then. Zetterlund struggled in his first 22 games in San Jose last year, going scoreless. “A tough situation as a younger kid to get traded mid-season, come in to meet new people, play a new system, and move across the country.”

Along with Couture, Nico Sturm will also return to the line-up. Out since Dec. 12, the defensive stalwart should center Luke Kunin and Mike Hoffman.

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