I won’t pretend to know Logan Couture any better than any of you. What I know of him is about the same that you know; that is, what he’s said to reporters and on social media. So I’ll admit to a mite of uncertainty when I say that Couture seems to have felt overlooked at times in his career. Quotes like this are why:
“I’m a Canadian kid, so I spend a lot of time in Canada,” Couture told the Mercury News‘s David Pollak on Wednesday night, after the Sharks defeated Edmonton 4-3 in a shootout to cling to the eighth playoff position in the West. “You turn on TSN or Sportsnet and everything is [Taylor] Hall, [Justin] Schultz, [Jordan] Eberle, [Ryan] Nugent-Hopkins, [Nail] Yakupov. It’s nice to come back and score a couple here [in Edmonton].”
Most players say they don’t watch much TV or ignore what the media circulates, so it’s nice to see Couture dish a bit of honesty here. Still, it was almost palpable how much Couture liked to score against the Oilers in the past. It seems less so now, but I have to believe getting the call to Team Canada, yes even as an alternate, is particularly special for him.
He has played for Canada just once: the under-18 squad. Couture played well then, scoring four points (two goals) in six games but never got another chance with a country that, it’s fair to say, has a rather stacked cupboard. So now, with three San Jose Sharks teammates, Couture gets his opportunity.
No, it’s not the Olympics, but since the NHL seems poised to dump the IOC for the World Cup of Hockey, we’ll at least give Couture that this is a similar tournament. What he does with this opportunity will likely determine his fate with the national team going forward, because these teams are built on small sample sizes and hunches.
So now that Couture has finally gotten his call, it’s time for him to make the most of it. I’ve been relatively outspoken about my general lack of interest in international hockey (and this tournament in particular) but the number of Sharks involved has piqued my interest. Couture’s addition ensures I’ll watch every game.
Go get ‘em, Cootch. We’re rooting for you.