Today at practice, Joe Thornton — who was placed on IR almost 10 days ago with an infection in his surgically repaired knee— joked that he was ready to go for Thursday’s game against Buffalo. Sharks bench boss Pete DeBoer offered a slightly different take, saying the team wouldn’t rush him back before his knee is totally cleared up.
In perhaps a corresponding move, the organization called Dylan Gambrell back up to the mother club. Gambrell has yet to see time in a regular-season game this year, but apparently DeBoer watched him play with the Barracuda and liked what he saw. “He’s gonna get a look here soon,” the coach said, according to Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area.
In more unfortunate news, Paul Gackle today reported that Logan Couture hurt what looked to be his hand during practice. Of that injury, the coach offered no words of encouragement:
#SJSharks DeBoer already said he didn’t have an update on Couture’s health after he collided with Chartier and appeared to hurt one of his hands. Hertl + Labanc received maintenance days to deal with minor things. Expects them at practice tomorrow— Paul Gackle (@GackleReport) October 16, 2018
Kevin Labanc and Tomas Hertl were not present for practice, but it sounds as if the two received maintenance days. With no Thornton and no Couture, the Sharks are staring down a forward lineup eerily similar to that of the 2016-17 season, which saw them exit the playoffs after just one round against the Oilers. Should Couture also miss Thursday’s game (or more time), we might expect lines that differ completely from what we’ve seen so far this season.
Stay tuned, as this story is clearly developing. However, expect typically tight-lipped behavior from San Jose. There’s a chance the team doesn’t provide a serious update until just before game time.