Getty ImagesIf the San Jose Sharks feel like a different team than in previous postseasons, Logan Couture has something to do with it.
The Sharks forward had eight points in four games against the Vancouver Canucks in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs, logging big minutes (22:02) and netting three power play goals. He led by example, and the example was this: The San Jose Sharks have weapons that go beyond Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, and that Couture and teammate Joe Pavelski are ready to put their stamp on this franchise.
We spoke with Couture last week – after the Sharks won, but before their second-round matchup with the Los Angeles Kings was cemented – about inheriting that leadership role, as well as accusations that he’s a diver; sweeping a Canucks team he hated; and the pressures of the postseason.
Todd McLellan said you’re “driving the bus” and Dan Boyle said you’re “the man”. How do you feel about the notion that this team is less about Thornton and Marleau and more about, say, Couture and Pavelski?
COUTURE: I still think those two are the leaders. They’re great players. I’ve learned so much from those two guys and from Boyler as well. We’re the guys who play a lot of minutes, so we’re expected to contribute. We’re expected to play a lot every single night. That’s one of the reasons why we beat Vancouver in four games. Everyone played so well.
Do you think it helps them to be out of the spotlight, or at least share it? Especially in Patty’s case, as it seems he’s a punching bag every postseason.
I don’t know, maybe if helps that other guys are stepping up. Patty does face a lot of heat. I think a lot of the time is unfair and not warranted. He handles it perfectly. Doesn’t let him effect him.
I’m guessing you thought sweep before the Vancouver series.
Yeah, I wish. Obviously not, but it’s nice that we got it done in four games.
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