Logan Couture was clearly the best skater on the ice tonight for both sides as the San Jose Sharks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. Couture, who is making a very strong case to join Team Canada in Sochi, scored the all-important first goal in the shootout.
Couture also had an amazing feed to Jason Demers earlier in the game that put the Sharks up 1-0 early on in the contest. The goal was a great example of the kind of superior vision that Couture has when he is on the ice, and that has made him one of the elite producers in the NHL.
Logan did his best to make sure that the Hawks recognized the threat that the Sharks pose for them in terms of Western Conference supremacy. He established himself as a major factor should the Sharks meet the Hawks in the playoffs later this year.
Couture is on-pace for a 60-point season this year and he is definitely the type of player that can carry a team through a rough stretch. On many nights this year, he has looked like the best player on the team. In fact, I would argue that his recent play makes him the best player on his team right now.
Couture was physical in the way that he drove to the net as well as very aggressive in pursuing the Hawks in their own zone. He has the instincts to be able to be an elite player in this league, which is why he has made himself a favorite to join Team Canada in Sochi at the Olympic Games.
I think that Couture is the kind of player who can always be counted on to produce just because of his speed and hands. During an in-game interview, coach Todd McClellan actually said that the NHL player who Logan Couture reminds him most of is Pavel Datsyuk. Though this complement came from his own coach, it’s good to know that Couture is extremely highly regarded by the coaching staff.
McClellan went on to speak about the way that Couture can pull back the puck, and he made an effort to point out the fact that his puck-handling skills were nothing short of elite. He felt as though Couture really one of the top Sharks at handling and dishing the puck. On a team with Joe Thornton, that is definitely saying something.
McClellan did not even mention Couture’s wrist shot, which is known to be one of the stronger shots in the league. He is very accurate and has great timing with his shooting. His four shots tonight were all legitimate chances, and he is someone who looks for good opportunities and waits to shoot in order to avoid having shots blocked.
Couture’s speed was also on display, as he was able to catch up to some passes that were well-ahead of where he was. That, coupled with his ability to pass to skaters who are behind him, could be his most dangerous offensive weapon.
Logan Couture showed off all of his skills tonight, and should have gotten the attention of anyone scouting him for Team Canada.