Logan Couture has been on an absolute tear this postseason. He’s looked fantastic and the numbers definitely back up what most people are seeing.
In 18 playoff games Couture has 8 goals and 16 assists for a total of 24 points. That’s 1.33 points per game. Sprinkle in his 2 game winning goals and it’s been a nice spring for the former Ottawa 67.
Speaking of clutch, another reason Couture is being considered the leading candidate for the Conn Smythe thus far is his play in clinching games.
In San Jose’s 3 series clinching games, Couture has been huge.
VS LA:: 3A
VS Nashville: 1G 2A
VS St. Louis: 1G 2A
3 points in all 3 series clinching wins. Doing that put Couture in some elite company joining only Gretzky (85,88,93) and Kurri (85) as the only players to do it in a single playoff run.
But now lets look a little deeper than conventional box scores.
Couture has a personal shooting percentage of 16.7% in all scenarios during this run.
Compare that to his 10.09% in the regular season then it appears he is playing a little out of his league in the playoffs.
But that drastic change is also attributed to the red hot Sharks powerplay, which is running at 27.0% success rate, the best of any team to make it out of the first round.
When you look at Couture at just 5v5, not including special teams, then his shooting percentages show that this isn’t a fluke.
5v5 Regular Season: 10.34%
5v5 Playoffs: 8.23%
His shooting percentage is dropping 5v5, but his production isn’t.
In the regular season Couture produced at 2.37 points per 60 minutes on the ice.
During the playoffs, Couture is putting up a whopping 4.22 points/60 (all scenarios)
To put that into a little better perspective, the only player to produce at a better rate than that and make it out of the first round is Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel who is putting up 3.67 points/60.
Couture is being played much more than he was in the regular season as well.
His average time on ice in the regular season was around 17.6 minutes per game (all scenarios)
During the playoffs that number has gone up to 19.0 minutes per game.
Pete DeBoer is putting a lot of trust in the 27 year old and Couture is making him look very smart for doing so.
We hear about home ice advantage in the playoffs as well, but that doesn’t seem to hinder Coutures game in the slightest.
The Sharks will start the Cup Final on the road tonight in Pittsburgh, and if one thing stands out about this team when they’re on the road it’s the powerplay.
Couture has put up 7 power play points in 9 away games. He also has 3 points in the 3 game ones that the Sharks have played in. So watch for him to be a threat tonight, as well as a key the Sharks success with the man advantage.
He also seems to be fueled by the crowd at the Shark Tank, scoring 6 goals and 7 assists in the 9 home games they’ve played this postseason.
If the Pens want a shot to knock off the Sharks and prove the experts wrong (18 of ESPN’s experts pick San Jose to win) then stopping Couture will be a must. He has 21 points during the Sharks 12 wins this postseason. The team is also 12-2 in games that he has scored at least 1 point, meaning he has a point in every single Sharks playoff victory.
While a lot of the media attention has been given the leadership of Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, there should be no question who this teams Conn Smythe favourite has been so far and who should be a key to the Sharks capturing their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.