Posted May 19, 2013 on
AP on Fox
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By JOSH DUBOW AP Sports Writer When Logan Couture limped off the ice in the middle of a tied game San Jose desperately needed to win, it looked as if he was taking the Sharks' playoffs hopes with him.
Instead Couture managed to make it back out on the ice to give his team an emotional spark and topped that by scoring the overtime game-winner that got the Sharks back into their second-round series against Los Angeles with a 2-1 victory in Game 3 on Saturday night.
It's just the latest big moment for a young player who has emerged as a leader and perhaps the top player on a Sharks team looking to make a deep playoff run.
''Logan is a huge, huge part of our team,'' coach Todd McLellan said Saturday. ''This is his coming out party. Nationally people have probably started talking about him. But we've known Logan like this for a long time.''
With two days off before Game 4 at home on Tuesday night when San Jose will look to tie the series at 2, Couture and his teammates mostly stayed off the ice Sunday to rest up and heal their wounds.
Couture got hurt early in the second period when he stepped on a puck with his left skate after a check from Jeff Carter and slammed awkwardly into the boards. He limped off the ice favoring his left leg and went straight to the Sharks dressing room as a hush came over the crowd.
San Jose survived the next 15 minutes of game action without Couture or forward Marty Havlat, who left after aggravating a lower-body injury in the first period, by juggling their lines.
The crowd got a jolt late in the second when Couture came out during a stoppage and skated around for a minute and then he played the final shift of the period.
''It's playoffs. Everyone plays through injuries,'' Couture said. ''The four years I've been here, I seen guys play through a lot of injuries. Stanley Cup is what you're playing for. Whatever it takes.''
Couture showed few signs of the injury in the third period and got the second most ice time of any San Jose forward after returning to the game.
The return paid off on the power play early in the overtime when he set up in the slot and took a pass from Patrick Marleau before beating Jonathan Quick with a wrist shot for his fourth goal of the postseason and first ever playoff overtime goal.
''It's a feeling that really can't be described,'' he said. ''It's one of the best feelings in the game of hockey. That's for sure.''
The game-winner was a bit of retribution for Couture, whose failure to clear a puck while killing a 5-on-3 advantage in the closing minutes of Game 2 led to Los Angeles' tying goal in a game the Kings would eventually win.
''I don't think about it like that,'' Couture said. ''I just think about it as different games, different plays. I made a play in Game 2 that I shouldn't have made. I should have got the puck out. I didn't. Nothing I can change about that now. So move forward and scored in Game 3.''
That was a rare mistake for the 24-year-old Couture who is emerging this postseason as the face of a franchise long dominated by gold medal winning stars Joe Thornton and Marleau.
A first-round pick in 2007, Couture made his first impact as a late-season call-up who scored four playoff goals in the run to the conference finals in 2010. Couture was tied for the team lead in playoff goals the following year with seven and has been the Sharks top goal-scorer the past two years.
''As far as Logan goes, I just think he's getting recognized more for what he's doing,'' defenseman Dan Boyle said. ''He's been a huge part of this team since he got here with Patty and Joe getting a lot of the headlines. I think he's been one of the go-to guys since he got here. He's just being a little more recognized now. ... He's just very important and he showed it again last night why.''
Couture is far more than a goal-scorer as he often gets matched up against the opposing team's top lines and outplayed the heralded Sedin twins in a first-round sweep of Vancouver.
Couture has won 62.9 percent of his faceoffs this postseason, plays well in all three zones and is a major reason for San Jose's improved defense this season.
''He's got a passion and an energy that's contagious,'' McLellan said. ''Sometimes older players do that to younger ones and younger to older. But he has a passion for the game that is second to none and he's got an energy that he brings. He never quits on plays. He drives a lot of people into the game. That's the sign of a good leader.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The San Jose Sharks were fined the huge sum of $100,000 for GM Doug Wilson's comments on the Raffi Torres suspension. What did he say?
Saturday night's contest was "Must Win" for the San Jose Sharks, a loss would put the team in a deep 3-0 hole against the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose's season would certainly be over with in LA victory. Luckily, for the San Jose Sharks the power play was working in Game 3. Just after the ice was cleaned to start the game...
Ryan Leong filling in for Cam Gore who is on assignment. Cam will be back for Game 4.
Logan Couture is coming of age.
Couture has been mentioned numerous times on this blog how important he is to this team and this game only punctuates how he is the unquestioned 'leader' now. Sure the Sharks still have Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau but even the fans are aware how...
Somehow the San Jose Sharks found a way to win Game 3 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings despite being without several players for various parts of the game.
To kick things off, the Sharks were already without Raffi Torres who has been suspended for the remainder of the series. They lost Martin Havlat at the first intermission...
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Logan Couture scored a power-play goal 1:29 into overtime to help the San Jose Sharks bounce back from two losses in Los Angeles to beat the Kings 2-1 in Game 3 of their second-round series on Saturday night.
Dan Boyle scored a power-play goal early in the first period and Antti Niemi made 26 saves for the Sharks, who got the penalty calls to go in their...
Sharks defenseman Jason Demers has been out of the lineup since April 18 with a sprained left ankle, but he could return to the ice for Tuesday’s Game 4 against the Kings.
Demers says he’s ready to play, but the ultimate decision is with the coaching staff. If he is inserted back into the lineup, it may be at forward, with Adam Burish still unable to play, Raffi Torres suspended...
from the Sharks website,
The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL in its efforts to remove illegal and dangerous hits from the game but we strongly disagree with the NHL's decision to suspend Raffi Torres.
Upon review of the incident, it is abundantly clear that this was a clean hockey hit. As noted by the NHL, Raffi's initial point of contact was a shoulder...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
* New rule: When a penalty is assessed at the 20:00 mark of a period, the next period shall begin with the faceoff in the offensive zone of the club on the power play and not at the center dot.
New rule: When a player intentionally is thrown out of the faceoff circle following an icing in order to give his team a few extra seconds...
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Its been said that a referee is doing a good job when he goes unnoticed.
However, just three games into the second-round playoff series between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, the officiating has become front and center.
With just four seconds left in regulation and the Kings already a man down, Kings forward Trevor Lewis was called for goaltender...
The San Jose Sharks climbed back into their second round series via a 2-1 OT win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night...
But the Associated Press's recap reports that the Kings were particularly upset with the ways in which the San Jose Sharks were awarded a 5-on-3 in overtime... Continue reading "Sharks’ OT win avoids 3-0 deficit, aggravates Kings,...
It appears that playing with Niklas Kronwall rubbed off on Brad Stuart. The San Jose Sharks defenseman laid Los Angeles Kings forward Justin Williams with this Kronwall-esque hit late in the first period. Stuart timed the hit perfectly and Williams could do nothing by the time he looked up and realized what was coming for him.
For all that the San Jose Sharks accomplished with their overtime victory over Los Angeles in Game 3, they know it will mean very little if they don't back that win up with another at home against the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings.
''We haven't accomplished anything,'' Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. ''We didn't get our work done in LA...
Is it me or do Logan Couture and Spongebob look alike?
Abuse of an official? Jonathan Quick used naughty words and that's abuse of an official? Whacking him over the head with his goalie stick, now THAT'S abuse of an official. Correctly calling someone an idiot is not abusive. If that were true, half my readers would be banned.
Kyle Clifford needs to get healthy and...
Just a few things that caught my eye:
Joe Thornton's first period might have been his most dominant playoff performance. Ever. Jumbo? Nope. Larger than life ... including the massive man beard.
Stick a fork in the Rangers. That stupid defensive system is sinking them. Bu-bye, Torts. Maybe Patrick Roy is holding out for a gig on Broadway instead of in Mile...
Via We All Bleed Red on YouTube, as a Wings fan, I sure miss Brad Stuart, and the Sharks defenseman made the highlight reels for the right reasons on Saturday--he delivered a hard but clean hit to Kings forward Justin Williams, who eventually got up and is playing for the Kings right now:
Hitting can be clean and devastating without deliveirng nasty injuries or controversy. Who knew?