Timo Meier gets the Call
The wait is over unless Doug Wilson and company are the biggest teases in the history of… well, Ever, Timo Meier looks set to make his NHL regular season debut. The Swiss-born Meier the ninth overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft lead his Jr. team the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL to the Memorial Cup final where they ultimately lost to the London Knights. He entered training camp this fall as the odds-on favorite to make the team out of camp. Unfortunately, the start to his season was derailed by a case of Mononucleosis which saw him miss training camp and assigned to the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate the San Jose Barracuda.
On the Barracuda the illness would cause Meier to miss an additional two games before breaking into the lineup, however, the effects of the illness lingered on as Meier would have a tough time getting back up to speed in the AHL racking up more penalty minutes than actual points. At one point he would tie team enforcer Alex Gallant in penalty minutes, not a good look for your first line drafted scorer. The frustrating thing about the penalties and a part that still lingers in his game a little still today is the penalties were of a stupid retaliatory nature. His game though cleaned up quick and he has looked like the highly touted scorer we looked forward too. His AHL statistics as of today are nine goals, six assists, and 15 points, he is a +8 with 26 PIM’s. The important thing to consider though is his point production has all been in the last 10 or so games and he leads the team in goals and is third in points behind Tim Heed and leader Danny O’Regan.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 15, 2016
Couture Health in Question
This isn’t all particularly great news for the Sharks and their fans though as one would expect that this means centerman Logan Couture may miss some time. Couture didn’t return after taking an ugly cross-check to the back of the head from Ottawa Senators forward Matt Hoffman. The main concern obviously with this type of hit is the fear of a concussion as the Sharks are already down a center waiting for Tomas Hertl to return to the lineup. So far there is only speculation on if Couture will be out against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night and if he is for how long. As of this writing, there has been no news on if Hoffman will have a hearing at all or if he does will it be in person or over the phone. I expect this will be a phone hearing and a max of a three-game suspension based on his lack of history with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. On a side note, it is also unknown if Marc-Edouard Vlasic will get called to the carpet over his spear to the face of Erik Karlsson something that should also get a look from the disciplinary committee if you take your teal shaded glasses off. The Sharks don’t appear to be worried about this possibility sending Mirco Mueller down to the Barracuda this morning.
Mike Hoffman's nasty cross-check to the head of Logan Couture.
Couture left the game and did not return. pic.twitter.com/9hetk8l6uX
— Hockey News Updates (@HockeyNews_365) December 15, 2016
Line Blender for the Fridays Game
The loss of Couture would be a significant one for the San Jose Sharks as Couture plays important minutes that will be hard to fill. Chris Tierney has settled nicely into the third line center role but asking him to move up to the second line is a huge ask. It is important to note that Timo Meier is not a center and as happy as I may be with this move, not tapping center Danny O’Regan is somewhat head scratching. Shaking the magic eight ball one would probably guess that Marleau will be removed from the top line and Meier will get a chance to shine with the Joe’s, Marleau could play the center position on the second line. He is an idea of what may happen with the forward lines.
Of course, there is a lot of speculation here but as soon as we know facts you will be able to find them here at Pucknology.
Phone hearing for Mike Hoffman with the Department of Player Safety. Nothing for Vlassic. Hoffman can be suspended no more than five games.
Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman will have a hearing tomorrow for cross-checking San Jose’s Logan Couture.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 16, 2016