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Couture named to All Star Team
Sharks get to rest vets
1/12/12 - By Mike Lee -

Logan Couture was named to the NHL All Star roster today by the league, the only Sharks player to attend this season's game in Ottawa. Couture is third on the team in scoring, but leads the team in goals scored with 17. It was the first All Star selection for the second year player, who has been one of the most consistent players for San Jose this season.

Captain Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau lead the Sharks in scoring, but both were left off the roster. As has become a more common practice in the NHL, veteran players are more frequently lobbying their general managers and coaches to push for omission from the game.

It's not clear if Thornton and / or Marleau lobbied to be left off, but both veterans will probably welcome the rest. San Jose wraps up a series of 7 road games in 9 games, including a 3 game stretch from January 21st through the 24th that will take from British Columbia to Alberta.

San Jose then plays 14 games in February, which includes a monster 9 game road trip from the 12th through the 26th. Any additional rest can only benefit the Sharks, who have played the fewest games in the league and get to make them up in March. San Jose plays an insane number of games in March (17), where they get no more than a one day break between any of those games during that stretch.

As a Calder Trophy finalist for the league's top rookie player last season, Couture has steadily worked his way to become one of the Sharks top forwards. His 56 points, which included 32 goals, as a rookie during the 2010-11 season elevated him to national notoriety last year. He's become a player that opposing defenses need to keep an eye on, having scored 8 game winners as a rookie.

Joe Pavelski, who is tied with Couture in points (30P, 16G, 14A) was also left off the All Star roster. His omission was more of a surprise than that of Thornton or Marleau. Defenseman Brent Burns was also a candidate to attend the game in Ottawa, but his offensive output this season has been slightly lower than the number's he's put up in Minnesota. Burns is on pace for 14 goals this year, down from the 17 he scored for the Wild in 2010-11.

Clowe Caged

Reports out of Winnipeg had Sharks forward Ryane Clowe sporting a full helmet cage at the morning skate on Thursday. Clowe was apparently pushed into the boards in Minnesota on Tuesday, where he sustained a jaw injury.

He is expected to play Thursday night against the Jets.


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