Logan Couture knows if the Sharks are going to beat the Kings, they’ll need to start scoring some goals.
That means beating Jonathan Quick.
And that’s not easy.
“He’s in a zone right now,” Couture told CSN Bay Area. “He’s playing great. He’s seeing everything, compact with the puck, it’s hitting him and not coming off him.”
Quick is showing his Conn Smythe-winning form of a year ago.
After a shaky first two postseason games — he blamed himself for both losses to the Blues — the 27-year-old has been virtually lights-out.
He posted a 30-save shutout in Game 3 against St. Louis, then stopped 55 of 58 shots in Games 5 and 6 to close out the series.
Quick was again stellar in a Round 2-opening win over the Sharks, posting his second shutout in five games despite the Kings getting out-shot 35-20 on the night.
“It could have got out of reach quickly if Quickie wasn’t back there making some big saves,” Mike Richards said. “You could just tell he was seeing the puck well.”
Couture — San Jose’s leading playoff scorer — acknowledged that Quick is tough to beat, but said the Sharks can do more to try and bump him off his game.
“More traffic, more shots in succession,” Couture said. “He’s aggressive, he comes out of the blue [paint] and takes a lot of the net away. Shoot off of him. Rebounds.
“We’ve got to find a way.”
No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.
Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.
They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.
On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.
Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps some of that has to do with health?
Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.
“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.
Here are the handy links for the two contests.
First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”
Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.
Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.
Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.
Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer