It wasn’t Logan Couture’s best game last night.
“I know those guys didn’t have a lot of gas in their tank,” San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner said, referring to his tired bunch of stars, including Couture, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, and Brent Burns.
They’ve all been playing big minutes with seven Sharks on injured reserve — Erik Karlsson, Kevin Labanc, Adin Hill, Rudolfs Balcers, Mario Ferraro, Nikolai Knyzhov, and Jaycob Megna — and two other forwards, Jonathan Dahlen and Andrew Cogliano, out because of illness or personal matters.
“I’ve lost count,” Boughner laughed sardonically about how many Sharks he’s got out.
But what’s the old hockey adage? When you don’t have your A-game, you can still find ways to help your team win.
And the well-rounded Couture is the poster boy for that.
The San Jose Sharks were being pummeled 16-2 shots by the Seattle Kraken when Couture made one great play to help break a scoreless tie:
The Couture (39) and Noah Gregor (73) assists were good, the Ryan Dzingel (14) goal was better, but the best part of this sequence was the captain’s defensive work.
It starts with a Couture dump-in that either Vince Dunn (29) bats down or hits a stanchion.
Joonas Donskoi (72) tries to pounce on the loose puck, but watch Couture tie up his ex-teammate’s stick. Donskoi can only watch in horror as Gregor picks up the loose change and drops it to Couture, who slides a hard pass to an open Dzingel in the high slot.
“He had some great stick plays,” Boughner said of Couture’s effort last night.
It goes to show also that it’s not just great offense that can spark a team — it can be great defense too.
“You saw that especially in the last five, six minutes, he picked out a lot of passes from the air. That’s what he does. He’s so smart,” Boughner continued, complimenting his captain’s late-game defensive heroics. “He’s just always on the right side of the puck and anticipates very well.”
For an at-times dead-in-the-water San Jose Sharks, they needed everything and anything that their best players could muster last night, even if most of their work didn’t make the scoresheet.
1st time this season #SJSharks have won a game without a point for Hertl or Meier
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) February 28, 2022
“They found a way,” Boughner said.
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