Still jarring and gross: the image of Logan Couture‘s mouth after taking a puck to the mouth about five months ago.
Still sore: Couture’s mouth.
Yep, the San Jose Sharks star hasn’t totally gotten over that injury, which forced him to have false teeth up top and some painfully sore ones on his bottom row. NBC Sports California’s Kevin Kurz transcribed the unfortunate details Couture shared with NHL Network this week:
“There’s good days and bad days,” Couture said. “My bottom teeth are still my real teeth. They’ve tried to keep them so I don’t lose them. I don’t know if I’ll be able to, they’re still pretty sore. My top teeth are all fake now – my front six, I think. So, it’s different. It just feels different in my mouth.
“But everything else with my face and all that is healed. I’m lucky that it’s an injury that didn’t affect my training, and hopefully won’t affect me going forward.”
Speaking of queasy, this is footage of when things were really bad for Couture. That link is provided because some will inevitably want to look, but treat this like the other gross things on the Internet that you wish you never saw and just move on.
(Seriously, the healing process continues on this end.)
Anyway, about the only bit of good news is that Couture can still train more or less as usual. He endured that injury late in the regular season (March 25), and while he suited up for the Sharks’ first-round series, it sure seemed like both Couture and Joe Thornton were limited in those six games against the Edmonton Oilers.
As much as dental agony seems like a uniquely “hockey” problem, this situation sounds especially rough for Couture.
Bovada gives McDavid higher odds than Crosby to win Hart in 2017-18
In handing Connor McDavid an eight-year, $100 million extension, the Edmonton Oilers essentially are paying the 20-year-old star based on the assumption that he’ll provide MVP-quality play.
At least one Vegas oddsmaker agrees, as Bovada tabbed McDavid as the favorite to win the Hart Trophy, edging Sidney Crosby.
That’s interesting, yet it might be even more interesting to note where other players fall in the rankings. Auston Matthews coming in third is particularly intriguing.
Who are some of the more interesting choices? The 20/1 range seems appealing, as Carey Price is one of the few goalies with the notoriety to push for such honors while John Tavares has the skill and financial motivation to produce the best work of his career next season.
Anyway, entertain yourself with those odds, via Bovada: (Quick note: Bovada originally had Artemi Panarin listed as still playing with Chicago. PHT went ahead and fixed that in the bit below.)
2017 – 2018 – Who will win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player?
The Nashville Predators qualified for the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the second Wild Card team in the Western Conference. But it’s not about where you start, it’s where you finish, and the Preds made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
Now, it’ll be interesting to see if they’re able to translate the Stanley Cup run into regular-season dominance and more postseason success.
As of right now, they still have the same top four defensemen on their roster. They also added former Canadiens blue liner Alexei Emelin to fold.
Also, don’t forget that on top getting acclimated to his new surroundings last year, Subban also missed 16 games with an upper-body injury. If his postseason success carries over into the regular season, you can expect him to be a whole lot better in 2017-18.
Up front, GM David Poile was able to add a few interesting pieces via free agency. Nick Bonino, who is coming off back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with Pittsburgh, will add some quality depth down the middle. His two-way style should make him an ideal candidate to center the second or third line.
Poile also signed veteran Scott Hartnell, who was bought out by the Blue Jackets. He’s back in Nashville after spending the first six years of his NHL career there. The veteran winger had 13 goals and 37 points in 78 games with Columbus last season.
Are those moves enough to propel them to another Stanley Cup Final berth in 2018? Well, lets look at the competition.
The San Jose Sharks were able to re-sign Joe Thornton, but they lost Patrick Marleau to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Other than losing Marleau, their roster hasn’t changed too much this summer.
Like the Sharks, the Anaheim Ducks didn’t make a huge acquisition this offseason. They managed to retain potential free agent Patrick Eaves, who they acquired from Dallas at the deadline. Still, they should be plenty competitive in the West this season.
The Stars went into last season with plenty of expectation, but they ultimately missed the mark completely by not even making the playoffs. This summer, they added goalie Ben Bishop and winger Alexander Radulov. Those two moves should help them get back on track.
The Minnesota Wild got off to a great start last year, but they weren’t able to sustain that once the playoffs came around. On paper, they still have a very talented roster that could compete with any team in the conference.
The St. Louis Blues went through a bit of a transition phase last season, but they still managed to finish in the top three of their division. It might be a bit of a stretch to consider them as legit candidates to win the West, but they aren’t far off.
How do the Predators stack up against these teams? Are they the favorites to make it to the Stanley Cup Final?
Alright, I’m turning things over to you. Cast your vote in our poll and feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section below.
After playing a ‘key role’ in AHL, Sharks re-sign Goodrow to two-year deal
Barclay Goodrow is officially back with the San Jose Sharks organization for the upcoming season.
The Sharks announced Monday that they have re-signed the 24-year-old left-shooting right winger to a two-year contract.
Goodrow, who was a restricted free agent having completed his entry-level contract, has appeared in 77 NHL games for San Jose over the last three years, splitting time between the big club and its AHL affiliate.
Last season with the San Jose Barracuda, Goodrow scored 25 goals and 45 points — both career highs for him in the minors — in 61 games.
“Barclay played a key role in the success of the Barracuda last season and we feel he took a step forward in his development,” said Sharks assistant general manager and Barracuda GM Joe Will in a statement.
“He took on more of a leadership role with the Barracuda and we look forward to him competing for a spot in the NHL this season.”
Wings, Tatar over $1 million apart as arbitration looms
It’s easy to see why Tatar is looking to cash in. The 26-year-old netted 29, 21 and 25 goals in each of his last three campaigns, for a grand total of 75 — more than Phil Kessel, Patrick Marleau and Matt Duchene have scored over the same timeframe.
If he and the Red Wings can’t reach a long-term deal prior to Thursday, it could be acrimonious. Tatar has suggested going to arbitration and settling on a one-year deal could mean the end of his time in Detroit.
“Detroit offered me a contract, and even with a few options — for a year, or four or five. We’re still talking about the length, and of course, the financial amount of the contract,” Tatar told CSA.sk earlier this month, per the Detroit News. “However, we aren’t going anywhere, and there’s been time enough.”
“Arbitration is the last option, I have to sign off, it’s just a mandatory contract. Unless I agree with Detroit, I’ll go to the court (salary arbitration), where they’ll give me a year’s contract. That would probably be my last season in Detroit. We’ll see in a few days or weeks before it all comes together.”