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Couture injured in practice
Centerman had to be helped off the ice during practice
10/15/15 - By Mike Lee -

If a road trip through the north east wasn't a test enough, the Sharks were left with a bigger challenge on Thursday when assistant captain Logan Couture was injured in practice in New Jersey and had to be helped off the ice. Couture was injured during a 5-on-5 drill according to CSN Bay Area. A video showed Couture in obvious pain, and didn't place any weight on his right foot as he was helped off the ice.

The video shows Couture laying in the corner writhing as trainers tried to stabilize his leg. Teammates helped Couture off the ice.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Couture left the arena in a protective boot. The Sharks did not disclose any details on the injury other than to say that Couture was being evaluated and the club would know more on Friday.

There was also no word on who might replace Couture in the Sharks lineup. Froward Ben Smith has been a scratch in each of the Sharks three games, and he's traveling with the team. The Sharks could try to call up a prospect, but it's unlikely any players from the Barracuda roster would be available to play in Friday night's game in New Jersey.

The Barracuda played in Stockton on Thursday night. beating the Heat 3-1 on goals from Micheal Haley, Ryan Carpenter and Nikita Jevpalovs. Nikolay Goldobin would seem to the be the most logical choice for a call up, but the young Russian also participated in the Barracuda's win.

One of the Sharks biggest strengths this season has been the ability to role four lines that can compete. If San Jose were to lose Couture for any extended period of time, they would have to play without one of the most vocals players on the roster.

Throw in the fact that Couture was the team's second leading scorer last season. San Jose only had two players score more than 20 goals last season and Couture was one of them.

He's centered the Sharks second line, leading wingers Patrick Marleau and Joel Ward. Given that Marleau is a natural center, they could slide him into the middle of that line and bring up Tomas Hertl or Tommy Wingels. Centerman Chris Tierney is another option for the second line, given Marleau's versatility.

Whatever the case, they will have to move past Couture's injury quickly. The club plays the Devils on Friday night, then they square off against the New York Islanders less than 24 hours later. The saving grace for the Sharks is that Brooklyn is a short bus ride from the Prudential Center in Newark.


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