Having endured an injury-plagued campaign in 2015-16, Logan Couture was able to suit up in 73 contests for the Sharks last season, recording 25 goals and 52 points. Though just 28 years old, 2016-17 marked the fifth time that Couture reached at least 20 goals and 50 points in a campaign; his high marks for a single campaign are 32 goals and 67 points, which were logged in 2010-11 and 2014-15, respectively. Also, after throwing 3.25 shots on net per game over a four-year span, Couture recorded just 2.38 last year. Expect Couture's numbers to continue to improve, as Patrick Marleau has left for Toronto and a 38-year-old Joe Thornton will need to have his ice time monitored carefully. With more ice comes more shots, which (hopefully) leads to more goal for Couture's fantasy owners.
Couture (face) is in the lineup for Tuesday night's preseason opener against the Ducks, Kevin Kurz of The Athletic reports. After taking the offseason to recover, Couture will take the ice for the Sharks' first preseason contest after suffering a severe face injury towards the end of the 2016-17 campaign. It remains to be seen whether the ailment will have any lingering effects on the productive pivot's play, but judging by the fact that he recorded three points in six playoff games despite the injury, we'd guess it won't.
Couture said he's still feeling "pretty store" five months after taking a puck to the face in a game against the Predators, CSN Bay Area reports. Recall that San Jose's top-line pivot was held out for the final seven games of 2016-17's regular season after he got in the way of a deflected shot from teammate Brent Burns. However, showing incredible resolve, Couture suited up for the conference quarterfinals and at least bordered on his typical productive self with two goals on 10 shots to complement a helper over six games. "There's good days and bad days," Couture said, adding that the injury fortunately "didn't affect my training, and hopefully won't affect me going forward."
Couture told reporters Tuesday that he's still dealing with the aftermath of taking a puck to the face against the Predators on March 25, Kevin Kurz of NBC Sports California reports. Couture wore a full face shield during the Sharks' opening-round series against the Oilers, but never seemed to be fully recovered. The center managed to record two goals and an assist, but he was unable to will his team to victory. Barring a significant setback, the 28-year-old figures to be ready to go for training camp and the 2017-18 campaign.
Couture scored two goals -- one on the power play -- in Tuesday's 7-0 Game 4 win over the Oilers. Couture's second goal of the night made it 5-0 and chased Cam Talbot just past the halfway point. The talented center had been held without a point in Games 1 through 3 after entering this series with 66 points in 80 career playoff appearances. Talbot had shut out San Jose in each of the previous two games, so this result was a pleasant surprise for Couture and the Sharks.
Couture (mouth) will be in the lineup for Wednesday's Game 1 against Edmonton, Marc Spector of Sportsnet.ca reports. Couture will likely be playing through some discomfort while sporting extra facial protection against the Oilers, but his presence in the lineup will be extra important Wednesday, as the Sharks will be without Joe Thornton (knee) in Game 1. Couture, who was the leading scorer in last season's playoffs, will center Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson on San Jose's first line Wednesday evening.
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