Sharks

Three takeaways: Logan Couture felt fine after minor surgery

Three takeaways: Logan Couture felt fine after minor surgery

SAN JOSE – Despite controlling most of their game with the Senators, the Sharks dropped a 4-2 decision on a late goal in regulation Wednesday night at home. The three takeaways from the defeat…

1 – Couture looks good despite minor surgery

Logan Couture scored his seventh goal in 10 games, a power play marker in the second period, and didn’t show any ill effects despite having a screw removed from his right ankle on Saturday. He finished with one shot on goal, five attempts and was 4-for-10 in the faceoff circle in a little more than 19 minutes of ice time.

“I felt fine,” he said after the game. “Took me a little while. Just [at the] start of periods it was a little sore, but once the game got going, I felt fine.”

2 – Sharks had their legs despite layoff

The coaching staff’s decision to give the Sharks a full weekend off from practice over the weekend looked like the right move in that the players had their legs for the duration of the game. Ottawa was rarely in its offensive end, and its 17 shots on goal was a season-low in shots allowed for San Jose.

“We never really felt like we were out of it,” Joe Pavelski said. “They get a couple early and [we] never felt overwhelmed. It was just about staying with it, finding that first one, and going. It was important that we got that next one when it was 2-0. We got moving. Felt in control the whole way.”

Justin Braun said: "It takes a second to get back into it, but I thought we did a pretty good job as a team to come out and get on the forecheck right away. First shift we were in there. I thought we had some good chances early.  To hold them to [17 shots] the whole night after a break like that is pretty good."

3 – Stagnating offense

Despite all the time they spent in the Senators’ end, including six power plays, the Sharks only managed to beat goalie Mike Condon twice. The Sharks’ offense still seems like it’s missing something, sitting in 23rd in the league with 2.38 per game.

At some point, some of the Sharks’ depth guys are going to have to start putting the puck in the net. Nearly one-third of the schedule over with, it’s getting to be the time of year where only the results matter.

"I think we did everything but find a way to win,” Pete DeBoer said. “But at the end of the day, moral victories don't count in the standings. I thought we did some good stuff, but didn't find a way to win."

Curtis and Ami Brown give back to families dealing with loss of a child

Curtis and Ami Brown give back to families dealing with loss of a child

Two years after losing four-month old daughter Aubri to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), former Sharks forward Curtis Brown and his wife Ami founded the Aubri Brown Club in 2007, in order to help families dealing with the sudden loss of a child. 

“We just found that experiencing our own loss, we saw ways that some weren’t being supported," Brown, who is currently a Sharks analyst with NBC Sports California, said Monday. "And that’s essentially why we raise money and awareness: To try to be there, ready and able to help families when they need us.” 

Brown told his friend Jonathan Smith, who had philanthropic experience, his "hopes and dreams" for the foundation. Smith pledged to help, and founded the "It's Not About The Golf" tournament, which just held its ninth annual fundraiser at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links on Monday.

The event, which featured a golf tournament during the day and a live auction later that night, included over 200 golfers and raised over $200,000, Brown told NBC Sports California on Tuesday. That's a far cry from the first one which "barely could fill 18 holes" and raised between $15,000-$20,000, according to Smith.

In all, the fundraisers have raised a total of $2 million for the Aubri Brown Club, Smith said.  The raised funds are used to cover the costs of counseling, as well as funeral and medical bills.

In the last year, the Aubri Brown Club supported 41 families, Ami Brown told attendees on Monday.

"Ami and Curtis went through something that not very many parents want to go through," former Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo said. "For them to step up and do this I think helps a lot of families out, and makes their loss more manageable."

Cheechoo, who played with Brown in 2004 and from 2006-08, was part of a strong San Jose contingent at the event. Sharks rookie Dylan Gambrell, ex-Sharks Douglas Murray and Owen Nolan, and San Jose broadcasters Randy Hahn, Bret Hedican, and Dan Rusanowsky also participated.

Sharks avoid arbitration, re-sign Chris Tierney to two-year deal

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USATSI

Sharks avoid arbitration, re-sign Chris Tierney to two-year deal

Just two days before one was scheduled, the Sharks avoided an arbitration hearing with center Chris Tierney, and re-signed the restricted free agent to a two-year deal on Wednesday, the team announced. The deal is reportedly worth just shy of $2.94 million annually, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman

"Chris had his best season as a professional last year and stepped up his level of play in multiple areas," San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We've always known he was a responsible, defensive-minded player, but he took his offensive game to the next tier and showed that he can be a productive player in all three zones. We look forward to watching him continue his evolution in 2018-19." 

Last season, the 24-year-old Tierney set career-highs in goals (17), assists (23), points (40), shots on goal (118), and ice time (16:00). Tierney also generated expected goals at the highest rate of his career (0.62 per hour), according to Corsica Hockey. 

A 2012 second-round pick, Tierney entered last season in an uncertain place. He signed his one-year, $735,000 qualifying offer last summer, and head coach Peter DeBoer challenged him to improve. 

“I came into the year wanting to prove a point. I believe in myself. I think I’m a good hockey player,” Tierney told the San Jose Mercury News in December. “I wanted to come in and show people that I could play an offensive role on the team.”  

DeBoer used Tierney slightly differently this season, as the forward started a career-high percentage of five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone (31.12 percent) and a career-low percentage of defensive zone starts (29.68 percent), per Corsica Hockey. Tierney responded in kind with his aforementioned career-best offensive numbers, and seized the third-line center role after versatile forward Tomas Hertl stayed on the wing.  

With Tierney back in the fold, the Sharks now have just under $4.4 million in salary cap space, according to CapFriendly. That’s for a roster carrying 14 forwards, seven defenseman, and two goaltenders, and San Jose’s actual cap space may change depending on the outcome of various positional battles in training camp. 

This summer, Tierney became the fourth Sharks player since 2008 to file for arbitration. In every case, including with Tierney on Wednesday, a settlement was reached prior to a hearing. 

The Sharks also signed a pair of prospects to entry-level contracts on Wednesday. Defenseman Ryan Merkley, San Jose’s first-round pick this June, and 21-year-old forward Alexander True, who scored 28 points in 68 games with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda last season, both inked deals with the organization.