Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Entries with the tag: logan couture

Todd McLellan is a genius

McLellan is an outside-the-box-fearless genius for solving a problem with the pieces at hand instead of waiting for new ones. That declaration is contingent on him keeping Brent Burns at forward. Failure to continue doing so will trigger revocation of said genius status and an indefinite stay inside the box.

Loved Cranky showing off for his dissenters.  Seriously, all the way down and around the net, with a shot reversed through his legs?  Beautiful.  Makes me want to say something vulgar to the haters.

Back to that big fancy new forward Brent Burns. I've liked that idea more by the minute, but I think my liking is maxed out, I don't know if I can keep liking it more. It might give me an aneurysm or something.

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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+desjardins, antti+niemi, brent+burns, douglas+murray, genius, jason+demers, logan+couture, los+angeles+kings, matt+irwin, ryane+clowe, todd+mclellan

The Sharks: Losing Mind Games

Winning breeds winning. The Sharks defense is "winning," their offense isn't.  It's easier to get your brain into a defensive or reactive mode when you lack confidence.  Being aggressive or creative requires confidence, or such a lack of it that you feel fear, like a cornered animal.   You don't want to be cornered.  The execution of a cornered animal is about as precise as a cannon with one broken wheel.  Fear, while it might make you go faster or be stronger, won't help with precision or missed passes.  You know the ones I mean, those passes that leave the stick about two seconds before the brain registers "Wait, he's not on my team..."

Ray Emery playing well is never depressing for me.  I was in the Emery Comeback Camp from the time I heard he was hoping to return from that hip surgery.  I couldn't believe he'd make it back, but I was impressed that he wanted to do it. So part of me is always rooting for Emery.  After the game, he was asked about the Sharks:

That's a great power play, those guys they put out there are a great group, so if we keep them off the board, it's a bonus.

Such a nice thing to say, even if it's not true.

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  Tags: antti+niemi, brent+burns, chicago+blackhawks, confidence, defense, jamie+mcginn, logan+couture, power+play, ray+emery

It looks like the Ducks, it sounds like the Pond…

I'd really have to see them walk to be sure.  These don't seem like the Ducks we all knew, didn't like, and that the Sharks could usually beat back in the day.   Last season was one thing.  The Ducks beating the Sharks so often seemed like one of many very strange happenings in a very bad season.  But this season?  What do the Ducks know that the Sharks don't?

The Ducks blocked 24 shots to the Sharks 15. Maybe this game was about slowing the future Ducks down since they obviously have San Jose's number.  Hitting them with a lot of shots is one way to do that.  Another stat that was kind of interesting was that the Ducks out-hit the Sharks 23-19, and out-shot them 32-26.  Doesn't the team without the puck usually hit the most?  So the Sharks had the puck, and didn't shoot it?   I guess if you count the blocked shots in there it isn't so bad.

Couture scored the only Sharks goal.  That wasn't so unusual, but to have the assists go to Andrew Desjardins from fourth line, and Tommy Wingels from the third, that was kind of cool and unlikely.  I guess that's what happens to the lines when Clowe gets sent away for nearly a third of the game.

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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, andrew+desjardins, douglas+murray, jason+demers, logan+couture, martin+havlat, michal+handzus, penalty+kill, ryane+clowe, tommy+wingels

Broad strokes: Sharks overseas

Over the past few days, I discovered an impatience I haven't felt for a while, the "hold on, no games today?  Or tomorrow?  Or... I'm supposed to wait how long for a game?" feeling.  It was irritating, but not bad.  It reminded me of a normal hockey season.  It feels like being all adapted to the new hockey universe.

This impatience drove me to start hunting for European and KHL games online.  This is not only difficult because feeds tend to move around, but also because an audio feed will not do. I don't speak most of the languages these games are broadcast in.   I did manage to dig up a Dinamo Minsk game going on yesterday morning.  A video feed was not available to me (which only took me about an hour to figure out) but following the scoreboard was better than nothing. So that was fun, except that Minsk blew a lead and fell 6-3.  At least Pavelski got a goal.

There are several Sharks abroad.   I found the following information online, but I can't be sure how complete it is.  I started with Eurohockey.com because they have an easy search that found most of the Sharks quickly.  From there I sort of wandered:

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  Tags: antti+niemi, bundesliga, del, douglas+murray, jason+demers, joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, justin+braun, khl, logan+couture, michal+handzus, nla, sm-liiga, t.j.+galiardi, thomas+greiss, tommy+wingels

Odds and ends and a kitten

I caught a wild kitten last week.  The folks at the animal shelter said he is just a couple weeks too old to be tamed.  I said what the heck, the Sharks are locked out, the Bulls are on the road, I'll give it a try anyway.  As I sat there with the three pound feline cornered, petting his back gently, trying to make purring sounds, I wondered if I could find a parallel between this process and the NHL CBA negotiations.  I got stuck on who is the tiny cat and who is the busy-body human.

Of course, neither side qualifies as a completely helpless, fearful little thing.  And both sides understand what they need the other for.  The kitten doesn't understand that making friends with people can double his life span and reduce stress dramatically.  It is a poor comparison.  Still, I will be keeping track of our relative progress, and I suspect my negotiations will end before the NHL's, even with the multi-year head start they have on me.  Really, this is all stuff they should have been thinking about ever since the last time they did this.  I concluded that the CBA negotiations are less like a rapprochement and more like two lions fighting over a kill.   They are not concerned with making friends.  Ironically, they aren't even that hungry.

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  Tags: ahl, cba, echl, logan+couture, sf+bulls, worcester+sharks

Enough lockout non-news

There's a theory that refusing to give voice to your dark thoughts is more productive than letting rants run riot.  I'm going to try that.  The NHL CBA negotiations are going nowhere, both sides look kind of stupid, childish and not the least concerned with whether or not we see any NHL hockey this season.  That wasn't a rant, just a brief statement of fact.  A more comprehensive discussion of the situation can be found here from Elliotte Friedman.

Here are some bits of info I've picked up about players and teams that matter in my hockey universe: Back on September 29th, Logan Couture's team beat Joe Thornton's now Rick Nashless team in Switzerland:

@Logancouture: Big win for @OfficialGSHC. Also bragging rights over the big guy!

Jason Demers is getting rave (or maybe just good) reviews in Finland.  Really it's hard to get the details via Google Translate and I won't apologize for not speaking Finnish.  I hear it is a very difficult language.

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  Tags: jason+demers, joe+thornton, logan+couture, nhl+cba, patrick+marleau, ryane+clowe, sf+bulls, srjc+polar+bears, tommy+wingels

Out of time: Sharks @ Flames

I guess Couture had a talk with the puck ambassador.  It was as if the puck leaped in his direction, first chance it got, full of apologies for the rude behavior of its Edmonton kin.  This resulted in a very early lead for the Sharks.

Drew mentions that Galiardi “got comfortable” with his new team very quickly.  That reminds me that, in my histrionics about losing a young dragon when McGinn was traded, it took me a while to notice that Galiardi was also born in the Year of the Dragon. 

The thing I miss most while watching games on delay is the company of fellow fans online. I could go to a bar for real life company too, but then I would be watching it in real time which I don’t want to do since the Sharks won last time I watched with a healthy delay.

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  Tags: calgary+flames, emotion, fan, logan+couture, superstition, time

Can the Sharks beat the Blues?

When I arrived at practice this morning, the first thing I looked for was Douglas Murray’s expression.  He was smiling again.  Sure, maybe someone had just said something funny to him but I thought it was too much of a coincidence that, during the last two practices, he has been smiling a whole lot.  I compare this to the tail end of his last recovery: he did not smile, he very clearly expressed frustration until the day he was cleared to play.  He doesn’t like not playing and he is not very good at hiding it.  Predictably, there’s a veritable glow about him when he knows he will be able to play.

I wonder if having a lousy poker face is a problem for Douglas Murray.  I guess it doesn’t much matter, during a game, if you can gauge his mood.  What are you going to do about it?

Murray is ready to play (no matter what Woodcroft says, come ON, the guy’s wearing a flashing neon “Good to go!” sign), Couture is probably back, all kinds of good news coming in.  If that’s not enough to chase your blues away, what will it take?

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  Tags: concussion, douglas+murray, kent+huskins, logan+couture, scott+nichol, st.+louis+blues, todd+mclellan

The Flyers are here

Actually, the Flyers have been here for a couple of days now, learning about Pinkberry from Wayne Simmonds, being bussed between rinks and meeting fans at Sharks Ice. It is very exciting for Bay Area Flyers fans.  It’s like a TaO fan holiday.

Yesterday I saw this article on NHL.com detailing the deadline day trade between the Sharks and the Avalanche.  The title is “Avs add McGinn on deadline day.”  It goes on to talk about what a splendid acquisition McGinn is for the Avs.

Isn’t that nice? McGinn is the big news, the article makes his acquisition out like the big story, only devoting a few lines at the end about Galiardi and Winnik…

Wait, what?  OMG, DW, what did you do?

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  Tags: antti+niemi, ilya+bryzgalov, jamie+mcginn, logan+couture, todd+mclellan, zac+rinaldo

Fragile

Todd McLellan had to leave the game for treatment after a Wild stick hit him in the head when a Sharks player not to be named here pushed that Wild player into the bench. Please let McLellan be okay, least of all because the Sharks need him.

“Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.” -Turkish proverb

Then the Sharks lost, 4-3.  That stung.  I spent the day reviewing this “first to three” notion.  I don’t think winning teams abide by it.

I was so happy for those days after the Sharks won a game… oh… wait, how long ago was that? Maybe it was the Flyers. Yep, it was the Flyers, last night. I cannot recall when the Sharks last won. I was so happy about that too, I was afraid to write anything in case I jinxed it.

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  Tags: bret+hedican, drew+remenda, fragile, joe+thornton, logan+couture, psychology

Looking for wins

There are bounces and there are mistakes and there are travel delays and three games in four days and freak accidents and injuries… and the Sharks lose again.  I’m all out of anger and sorrow.  Despair starts to set in.  I walk away from the game, start doing the laundry and the dishes.  I can’t really walk away, I keep poking my head around the corner to peek at the tv, I keep hoping.  It doesn’t work out.

Later, Ryane Clowe said “We’re looking for wins…” (Sharks Talk)  That made me start humming “in all the wrong places….”  When I start humming country songs, I know I’m in a bad place, is that stale beer I smell?  I moved on to a better tune, that old standby from Monty Python.

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  Tags: adirondack+phantoms, logan+couture, monty+python, ryane+clowe, stockton+thunder, trenton+titans, worcester+sharks

The toughest game: those wily Coyotes strike again

It was said on Twitter. McLellan was quoted saying it on Working the Corners and in Kurz’s CSN blog. It was discussed during the pregame show.  It was the big story before Saturday’s game in the mostly empty Jobing.com arena: how very dangerous, unpredictable, hungry and possibly tough to play against the Phoenix Coyotes would be.  What were they thinking?  Here’s what I was thinking:

I didn’t get it.  Why would the Coyotes be more frantic than Dallas?  Isn’t that losing streak they’ve been on an indication that they are not playing well?  Was everyone trying to say the Coyotes have the Sharks’ number? 

If that’s the case, I thought, it’s a very bad sign for the Sharks.  I hoped fervently that it was all a bunch of manufactured drama, like the endless euphemism-filled discussion of where Niemi was hit by that puck, why he missed the last game.  I’m still not clear.  As Brodie pointed out during the pregame show, women don’t understand these things.  Someone will have to be more specific.

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  Tags: antti+niemi, brent+burns, csn+ca, jamie+mcginn, labradors, logan+couture, mike+smith, patrick+marleau, phoenix+coyotes

Unclaimed Stars

Logan Couture was picked last in the NHL All Star Draft.  Antero Niittymaki wasn’t picked off waivers at all.  Couture will be remembered for being picked last, he got a car and donations to his favorite hockey charities and it’s possible he will get a superincredible season in 2012-13.  That last one isn’t guaranteed because the sample size is too small to call it a pattern.

But all’s well that ends well and the award for best sportsman on Twitter goes to Logan Couture (@Logancouture), the San Jose Shark who went last in the draft.  -Kevin McGran
@Logancouture: “Is it me or is it getting hotter back here after every pick?”

@Logancouture: “Who went last? I missed the end of the draft?”

@Logancouture: “First order of business. Pimping that Honda out”

Apparently the car will go to Logan’s brother.  Couture did handle himself well.  Several players were less composed than he was during the proceedings.  Carey Price was so flustered by not realizing he had been called that he dissed his All Star Captain on his way to the holding box.

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  Tags: all+star+game, antero+niittymaki, logan+couture, sean+sullivan, tim+kennedy

Those were not the dragons I was looking for

There’s dragons and there’s Dragons.  That Sharks @ Oilers game wasn’t what I had in mind to start the Year of the Dragon.  There were some good things, like Logan Couture earned his 100th NHL point.  The Sharks did control much of the game.  They just couldn’t score accordingly, so they lost.

When I wrote about Dragons, I was thinking of something like this:


From Dark Wallpapers

See the nice color, and the water and how big and scary that guy is?  Storms don’t bother him.  Certainly no little oil spill would slow him down.

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  Tags: brent+burns, joe+pavelski, logan+couture, thomas+greiss

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon

Luck and legend distinguish the Dragon from the other symbols in the Chinese and Mongolian zodiac.  It is said to be the very luckiest birth year, the sign of the emperor.  Unlike the other symbols, a dragon is not the sort of critter most of us will see in our lifetimes.  Since there are twelve signs in this system, that is a little surprising.  The year starts today and ends around this time in 2013.

As someone who grew up in San Francisco, I guess I should say something about the Niners.  They lost.  Bummer for Niners fans.  I wasn’t all that anxious for them to win because I feel that trips to championship finals disperse geographically in such a way that if the Niners had gone on, this would have been bad news for the Sharks.  Look what happened with the Giants- the other Giants I mean.  Condolences to Niners fans, may the loss not be in vain.

The Sharks begin the year in Edmonton.  I don’t know if any of them attended a parade, but a big spectacle like an NHL game should do.  Wow… that would be cool, if someone brought a paper and silk dragon to the game and sent it around the stands… I know, that probably won’t happen.

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  Tags: dan+boyle, james+sheppard, jamie+mcginn, jason+demers, joe+thornton, logan+couture, patrick+marleau, thomas+greiss, todd+mclellan, tommy+wingels, year+of+the+dragon

No rumpus, no tricks

When talking about the Sharks and the Jets, I think you have to mention West Side Story, so I did. The Sharks @ Winnipeg was not a surprising game, unless you consider shut outs surprising.  The better ranked team won, there were no calamitous incidents, no very strange penalties.  The Sharks don’t have very many shut outs this season, so another does add some needed sparkle to their 2011-12 record.  That record is looking better and better, as Jamie Baker points out:

@Bakes_Jamie13: “Sharks have only lost 1 game in regulation since Dec 14 - it was on boxing day against Anaheim. in last 14, Sharks are 9-1-4. #KeepErGoin”

One thing they are keeping going is their NHL shots per game lead:

@SharksStats: “Elias Says: Sharks have had 35+ shots in each of their last 11 games. Longest streak since ‘83-84, when Flyers had 35+ shots in 12 straight.”

I know, they always shoot a lot but it is neat to break long-standing records.  The fact that the Flyers hold that record now does make it more interesting to me but I won’t mind if the Sharks break it.

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  Tags: brent+burns, logan+couture, nhl+all+star, ryane+clowe, winnipeg+jets

Jack and Jenna

My brother is going to be a father.  He and his wife told me the other day that they had decided they would encourage the boy (yes, they know it will be a boy) to play hockey.  Neither parent has much interest in the sport.  I think it was a gesture to include me in the care of the child.  I am touched that they are so quick to hand their first born over to me, but my initial reaction was “really?  I would be afraid to encourage my kid to play hockey.”

I’m a worry wart.  I would have the kid ride horses, because even though more people get head injuries riding horses than doing anything else, I know how to do it right, it would be safe if I were in charge.  Right.

Anyway, when I expressed my concerns about the safety of the unborn person (hey, they’re planning his sports activities, I’m not the only crazy person here), my brother said “really?  But hockey isn’t dangerous, they’re all padded, it’s not like football.”

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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: cal+clutterbuck, dany+heatley, devin+setoguchi, high+school+hockey, jack+jablonski, jamie+mcginn, jenna+privette, joe+pavelski, logan+couture, minnesota+wild, ryane+clowe

A grudging ode to three

Three games against the Canucks, three ending 3-2.  In fact, the Sharks’ last three games against anyone ended 3-2.  Last night, the Sharks avoided losing three games in a row, or three to the Canucks.  Thornton was guilty of three turnovers.  The game produced three points, one for the Canucks, two for the Sharks.  The Sharks practiced three times between games against the Canucks. I haven’t counted how many times Nemo taps the posts with his stick between shootout rounds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s three.

All right, Sharks. FINE, you really like your threes, I get it.  I’ll try not to say things to belittle or mock your faith.  I still think it would be better if…. Oh, never mind.  Bleeding cultists.

I don’t mind being wrong when it means the team wins.  I take absolutely no joy in being right when it means the team loses.  I wasn’t sure the Sharks would lose to the Canucks last night, but I was really very certain it would not end 3-2.  Whatev.

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  Tags: andrew+desjardins, antero+niittymaki, colin+white, dan+boyle, logan+couture, michal+handzus, penalty+kill

Shameles

Shame isn’t helpful.  It makes you stop when you should go. It makes you afraid to go out, horrified you ever did, fat and old and badly dressed as you are.  What were you thinking?  Just parading around in public with those wrinkles?  That hair?  Shame makes you old, your teeth yellow, your skin blotchy and horrible overnight, even if you were a reasonably unremarkable-looking person the day before.  As shame starts to fade, you might develop a deep resentment for the person who made you feel shame, even if it’s yourself.

I don’t think the Sharks were feeling fat or ugly Sunday.  I even doubt they felt shame.  Successful people don’t waste their energy or time on shame.  They may feel remorse, promise to do better next time, or to never do that again, but they don’t sit on the floor of the bathroom, chewing on a sleeve, afraid to go out and be seen, paralyzed by shame.  Cat-o-nine-tails?  Some fans might hope.  No, not that either.

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  Tags: brent+burns, douglas+murray, logan+couture, sharks+talk, todd+mclellan, working+the+corners

The Right Hand of Zus

You know how those stories about Greek gods always involve or imply the torment and suffering of mortals?  That’s what being a fan is like sometimes.  Even though the players are doing the hard work, the bleeding and breaking and rushing about, we spectators watch and hope our fragile little village will be spared by the storm.  So it has to be a good thing to have a guy named Zus on the team.  No way your church tower gets blown over by the western wind storm of the century, not with Zus on your side.

I heard a lot about those perilous high winds, but they never came to my neighborhood.  If I really thought this was connected to my NHL team allegiance, I would have to build a shrine or something.  Surely it isn’t just Michal Handzus making things happen or not happen.  Surely he must have some help.

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  Tags: fan, fear+the+fin, jamie+mcginn, joe+thornton, logan+couture, martin+havlat, michal+handzus, ryane+clowe

6: too many

6: too many men on the ice

6: too many goals to score

6: too many games to win in a row.

Three sixes on Halloween just can’t be good.  I think I can come up with a couple more.  Couture and Pavelski both made it to six game point streaks.  The Sharks took six penalties, if you count Clowe’s fighting major.  In this case, I don’t see any reason not to.  That’s six sixes.  This is not helping.

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  Tags: joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, logan+couture

Huh? Why? 5-0

They weren’t in Hawaii, but they were visiting Islanders, and now the Sharks are 5-0 on this trip.  Their performance last night was lackluster.  They won anyway, them’s the breaks, no point asking why.

@PollakOnSharks: Couture on #SJSharks 3-2 OT win: “I didn’t think we were very good, but good teams find a way to win games when they’re not at their best.”

A few things did have to work.  Like Pickles.  While the rest of the team seemed fairly convinced that they were tired, Vlasic doesn’t believe in tired.  Probably he does believe in it, he just doesn’t believe he is old enough to suffer from it.  We saw a clever and energetic performance from him. Vlasic is on a tear, isn’t he?

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  Tags: jason+demers, logan+couture, marc-edouard+vlasic, thomas+greiss, todd+mclellan

Shave and a haircut: two points

This morning, Pollak reported that Joe Thornton was clean-shaven for the early skate. It just so happens that, in trying to make sense of this nascent season, I had been rereading my entries from this week last year, and on October 21, 2010 I mentioned that the Sharks all looked very nice clean-shaven.  They have not gotten so furry as the did during the 2010 early bad patch, but it made me say huh anyway.  After Pavelski scored his tying goal, I noticed that his hair is very short now.  Unless he shaved his head some weeks ago, he probably had it trimmed in the last week or so.

Little things like that, aside from providing fodder for obsessive observers, do actually have some significance.  It’s like cleaning up your house, trimming things down, simplification.  These are the easy things you can do to get your head in order.  Snip snip, scrape scrape, and you feel like a new person.  There is more to do, but you are probably better prepared to do it.

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  Tags: antti+niemi, benn+ferriero, jacob+josefson, logan+couture, torrie+mitchell

Fix it please, fix it now

When I first saw that Benn Ferriero had been called up for the Sharks’ road trip, I worried that this meant Martin Havlat’s visit to the doctor had not gone well.  After all, Ferriero was the Havlat placeholder for the majority of training camp.  It might be safe to say he wasn’t used anywhere else but with Couture and Clowe on the second line.

Of course it is a relief to discover that Havlat will in fact be starting, that the trip to Cleveland went very well.  Yay!  Granted, there is no way he can live up to the hype this wait has generated but yay anyway.

So what the heck was Ferriero doing with the team yesterday, and, according to Kevin Kurz, practicing on the 4th line?  Ferriero ended up on the 3rd line, but why would they even try him on the 4th?  Once I start to worry a subject, I have to worry it to death.

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  Tags: andrew+desjardins, benn+ferriero, dany+heatley, jamie+mcginn, logan+couture, martin+havlat

Sharks top lines, all set (?)

Brodie Brazil had a few things to say about how the Sharks’ top lines will look when the season starts:

Go ahead and ink in Joe Thornton, centering Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski.  There’s San Jose’s top line to begin the season…it’s pretty clear to see Todd McLellan following that with Logan Couture, flanked by Ryane Clowe and Martin Havlat. -Sharks Talk

I must have missed the quote where McLellan says he’s sorted out the 3rd slots on the top lines and isn’t giving it another thought.

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  Tags: benn+ferriero, joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, line+combinations, logan+couture, martin+havlat, patrick+marleau, ryane+clowe

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