Sharks

Logan Couture has good feeling Joe Thornton will return to Sharks

Logan Couture has good feeling Joe Thornton will return to Sharks

In June, Joe Thornton hinted that he would be returning for his 22nd NHL season, and that he believes he could play five more years.

Almost two months later, Thornton still is an unrestricted free agent. He was seen working out with former Shark Patrick Marleau recently, and Sharks center Logan Couture, who has played with Thornton for 10 years, would be shocked if Jumbo isn't back. 

"I talked to Joe a month ago and asked him what was going on and he said, 'Oh don't worry about it,' so I took that as he'll be back," Couture told NHL.com. "I just kind of figure it's going to happen, he's still got time, I'm sure he'll be back with the Sharks."

For Couture, playing without Thornton alongside him in teal is a tough one to envision.

"He has the invaluable assets that you need in any dressing room. When he walks in, he demands respect, he creates a fun atmosphere and fun environment, I couldn't imagine playing on a team without Jumbo," Couture told NHL.com. "My mind just can't work that out, not having Joe around, because it's been 10 years with him and it's been so much fun."

At 40, some might expect Thornton to be nearing his NHL expiration date, but Couture knows that isn't the case based on what he's seen from his longtime teammate. 

"He can't give it up, he works so hard, so the day he stops I'll be shocked," Couture said. "When we lost to [the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference final], I ran into him in the gym like nine days later and Jumbo had already been in there working out, and that was not his first day back. He loves the game, loves it, more than anyone."

[RELATED: Why Sharks should, shouldn't retire Thornton's jersey first]

With Joe Pavelski leaving for the Dallas Stars, the Sharks can ill afford to lose the 51 points Thornton contributed last year.

It sounds like Jumbo's return is a matter of when, not if.

Bob Boughner urges Sharks to 'man up' after shutout loss to Avalanche

boughnersharksavsap.jpg
USATSI

Bob Boughner urges Sharks to 'man up' after shutout loss to Avalanche

Just when you think the Sharks have figured things out, they drop a couple games in a row and look really bad in the process.

After beating the Blue Jackets and Stars at home last week, San Jose headed to Arizona and lost 6-3 on Tuesday night. Two days later, it got even worse for Bob Boughner's club as the Avalanche shut out the Sharks 4-0 on Thursday night.

San Jose heads to Vancouver to face the Canucks on Saturday before getting eight days off due to the NHL All-Star break.

For Boughner, it's time for his club to put up or shut up.

"I think it's crucial for us," Boughner told reporters in Colorado. "I think Vancouver, a team that's in the division and ahead of us, before we get into this break and end it off on the right note, we felt really good about ourselves and the way we were playing before this trip and things haven't gone our way for the first two games.

"I think it's time to man up. We've got too many guys that are not on the same page right now in the last two games and we're not a good enough team to do that. We proved that we can play with the best teams if we play the right way and we've got all 20 guys going and stick to the plan. But when we don't, we're average at best."

The Sharks are in danger of missing the playoffs for just the second time since the 2003-04 season, and Brenden Dillon understands every game the rest of the way is vitally important.

"Yeah, it's a division game, it's a team we're chasing and I think all these games we've got to have that playoff mindset of do-or-die mentality going in and show some desperation," Dillon told reporters. "A lot of these teams are battling, whether that's for playoff spots or home-ice or whatever it is in the divisions. But esepcially against Vancouver, a good team that's going well, so we've got to finish on a high."

[RELATED: Boughner reacts to Vegas hiring DeBoer]

After the loss to the Avs, the Sharks sit at 21-24-4 with 33 games remaining. They are nine points out of a wild-card spot, but every loss chips away at their margain for error.

If they don't turn things around in a hurry, it will be a long summer in San Jose.

Peter DeBoer will use lessons learned with Sharks to help Golden Knights

Peter DeBoer will use lessons learned with Sharks to help Golden Knights

Peter DeBoer spent four-plus seasons leading the Sharks. He coached them to Stanley Cup Final and another Western Conference Final berth.

But messages get stale and general manager Doug Wilson made the decision to relieve DeBoer of his duties in December with the Sharks sitting at 15-16-2. A month later, DeBoer now finds himself at the helm of the Sharks' archrival -- the Vegas Golden Knights. 

DeBoer was hired Wednesday, replacing Gerrard Gallant who was fired after the Golden Knights fell out of the playoff picture. 

In his first comments since being announced as head coach, DeBoer said he thinks he can take some lessons he learned in San Jose and apply them to his new club.

"The one thing I learned in San Jose is if you can walk into a locker room with good character and good people that you can find your way through the turbulent waters," DeBoer said after the Golden Knights' morning skate. "I think that's probably the case here. You got a real good group of men that care, and we'll find our way through it."

In the midst of a four-game losing streak, the Golden Knights find themselves at 24-19-6, just behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Vegas entered the season with Stanley Cup aspirations. While they have underachieved to this point, DeBoer led the Sharks to a similar turnaround a few years back. 

"This is a team that the goal is to win the Stanley Cup," DeBoer said. "They are one of those teams. I feel like we've been one of those teams in San Jose the last four or five years. That's the goal. I can tell you that the year we went to the Final with San Jose, December or January we were right around .500, you know, spinning our tires a little bit. We found a way to get it going in the right direction. The list is endless of teams that are in this situation at some point or another. It's one of the things I'll talk to the players about.

"A little bit of adversity, I think is always a good thing. it's just how you deal with it." 

[RELATED: Why Sharks should go after Gallant]

DeBoer was well-liked in the Sharks' locker room and his firing left the players stunned and shocked.

Eight months ago, Gallant called DeBoer a "clown" before the Sharks and Golden Knights played a memorable Game 7 in their first-round playoff series.

Now, DeBoer will be tasked with helping Vegas do what he couldn't in San Jose. Win it all.