Programming note: Ducks-Sharks coverage starts tonight at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE – Logan Couture is questionable to play in Saturday’s Sharks game against the Ducks, due to an apparent illness.
Couture, who practiced on Friday, did not take part in the morning skate at SAP Center.
“He showed up, wasn’t feeling real good,” Todd McLellan said. “We’ll see how he is at gametime. He’s questionable.”
Conversely, Mike Brown may get back into the lineup for the first time since he blocked a shot against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 11 in San Jose’s home opener. The shot by Paul Postma broke the middle finger in Brown’s left hand.
“Right now I’ve got a lot of energy,” said Brown, who will likely skate with Andrew Desjardins and either John Scott or Tyler Kennedy. “I know my role and putting me back in the lineup is to play my style of play. That’s hit, crash the net, create some energy, block shots and do whatever I can to get the boys fired up.”
In order to activate Brown, who was still officially on injured reserve Saturday morning, the Sharks will have some roster juggling to do since they are at the maximum 23 active players. McLellan was uncertain how that would shake out.
“Obviously Brownie coming back, we don’t have a roster spot for him. Cooch’s illness throws a wrinkle into things,” McLellan said. “We didn’t plan on that until the last minute here. There’s still a chance he can play. We have to get together with our staff and management and figure out how we’re doing things over the next little bit.”
Alex Stalock will return to back up Antti Niemi, while Troy Grosenick has been placed on injured reserve with an apparent concussion.
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The latest Ducks player to come down with a case of the mumps is defenseman Clayton Stoner. He joins Francois Beauchemin and Corey Perry as the third Anaheim player to miss games due to the virus this season. There have also been outbreaks on the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues that may have originated in Anaheim.
McLellan was asked about the precautions the Sharks have taken from a health standpoint.
“The league is aware that there is an outbreak, if you want to call it that. We’re aware of it,” he said. “It’s been addressed by our doctors and training staff to the players, and we’ve been told certain things that we need to do to protect ourselves. We’re taking the right approach.”
Anaheim acquired defenseman Eric Brewer from Tampa Bay on Friday, and he’s expected to play.
In goal, Frederik Andersen, who took the loss to Chicago at Honda Center on Friday, will oppose Niemi and make his 11th straight start. Andersen is 0-3-0 in his career against the Sharks with a 3.37 goals-against average and .886 save percentage.
Niemi is 11-9-0 with a 2.51 GAA and .908 SP career vs. the Ducks.