For the 21st time in his career, Logan Couture scored twice in one game. For the first time in his career, Couture finally got a third.
In what could be seen as a divine makeup call, Couture scored three times for the Sharks on Tuesday after being denied by one of the best saves I've ever seen by Jonathan Quick on Monday. After narrowly missing the empty net on his first shot down ice, Couture was visibly upset — but the icing gave him another shot at getting that elusive third goal. He didn't miss this time.
Couture has 13 goals and 32 points in 47 games with the Sharks in a season that can charitably be described as difficult. If it weren't for Thornton's greatness this year, Couture could build a case for the Sharks Masterton nominee. A pair of freak injuries kept Couture from enjoying a full season with the Sharks but since returning he's provided a boost to a team that isn't exactly overflowing with depth.
His first goal of the night, which put San Jose ahead 2-1, came thanks to a great secondary effort. After going after a puck under the goal line, Couture receives the puck from Donskoi and then pushes it off his stick to Nick Spaling. Spaling doesn't receive the puck cleanly and it's ticked right back to Couture, who's able to skate just outside the crease and beat Markstrom to his right.
His second goal came on a 5-on-3 power play, an area the Canucks could clearly use some work in. Take a look at the screenshot below — this is taken just moments before Couture received the puck without a Canuck anywhere near him.
Yes, that's one Vancouver player down trying to dig out the puck while one stands near the crease and the other stands on the point. The problem with this is twofold: 1) the Sharks have Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in on the poor Vancouver player in the corner, making it unlikely the Canucks come away with the puck and 2) once the Sharks get the puck they've got two wide open players to throw it to. Cue sad trombone.
The Sharks get the puck, are able to throw it to the one guy on the ice that's kind of covered and then he gets it to Couture who effectively buries Vancouver.
Couture, more than any Shark, seems to go through patches where nothing goes right for him. I'm sure some of this is selective memory on my part, but it's nice to see Couture rewarded for his hard work and positive play on the scoresheet. Congratulations on the hat trick, Logan. Here's to many more.