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Couture doesn’t think he’ll ever get over blown 3-0 series lead

May 7, 2014, 9:48 PM EDT

Logan Couture Getty Images

San Jose forward Logan Couture has had some time to digest the fact that the Sharks were eliminated because they blew a 3-0 series lead in the first round to the Los Angeles Kings. That hasn’t helped.

“It’s still devastating,” Couture told CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Radio. “It doesn’t get any easier. It’s been impossible to watch anymore hockey since we lost.”

He’s someone that badly wants to win and despite all the talent on San Jose’s roster, that hasn’t happened in his five NHL seasons. Every year he watches the last game of the Stanley Cup Final and when he sees the Cup come out, he feels jealous. That’s usually when he turns off the television rather than watch the ceremony.

“Something’s got to change,” Couture said. That might mean that guys get traded, but he feels the Sharks players, including himself, deserve whatever happens after they failed to get the job done.

The one thing that he would add is that the buck should stop with the players.

“I hate when people blame coaching staffs,” Couture said. “I hate when they blame general managers. It’s on the players that go out there and to win hockey games.”

Going forward, he will try to use this setback as motivation and he remains optimistic that the team will emerge stronger. Meanwhile, he plans to work on his personal strength, particularly when it comes to the wrist that he injured.

He missed 16 contests before returning on Feb. 27, but he admitted that he returned early and is still sore. He’ll rest the wrist for now, but he plans to strengthen that area over the summer and add a few pounds in general.

He doesn’t think he’ll ever get over how this year ended, although he might change his mind if he finally gets to be with the Cup instead of just seeing it on TV.

  1. vman99 - May 7, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    I heard various interviews after the Sharks lost game 7. Couture is the only one I heard take personal responsibility for his failures. I mean the guy hates losing and you could hear it in his voice. That’s the kind of player that should have the “C” on his sweater. Time to go Jumbo Joe. 3points in 7 games and a -6.

    • skr213 - May 8, 2014 at 1:49 AM

      Agreed. I’ve been saying for years that Zen Joe doesn’t have the fire that it takes to win a Cup. If you don’t hate losing, then you’re going to lose. Plain and simple.

    • puckoff70 - May 8, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      None of the Shark players are at fault, its McClellan who choked away this series. Worst move of the series was pulling Niemi in game 5 after 1 period. The only purpose it served was putting doubt into his teams head. He couldn’t lead a blind man across the street.

      • rauhj - May 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        What are you talking about? First, the players are totally to blame. McClellan has been trying to change the mindset from a pretty goal scoring team to a checking team and for the most part this year, the Sharks were quite good with their checking (and additionally they’ve added much more speed the last couple of years). McClellan has said periodically (and said it again after the Kings series) that the players are not consistently doing what the coaches ask for. They need to bear down, no letup, particularly against a a team like the Kings. Niemi deserved to be pulled. Other than a good OT performance in game 3, he has been sub par-as has been repeatedly chronicled, he has let in way too many soft goals. And have you even watched how the rest of the team seems to play behind Stalock? They seem to get fired up with his aggressive style; simply compare how Stalock goes after the pucks behind the net to Niemi and there is no comparison. Niemi is too slow and indecisive behind the net.

        The Sharks D has come and gone all year. Boyle is done and the Sharks need to change the type of player they look for. They’ve got young flashy skilled talent but now they need to get the grittier players that are willing to do the dirty work that Torres and Brown and Wingels commit to.

        I could (and should) go on and on to educate you but you have absolutely no idea what your are talking about, particularly to rip McClellan and support Niemi? Not many of you deluded ones around!

      • hockyjocky4 - May 8, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        When it was announced Stalock was starting game 6 I thought it was the right move in that he was the better goalie but also it announced: “LA IS IN OUR HEADS”.

        Shouldn’t have gone back to Niemi for game 7 in my opinion.

    • hockyjocky4 - May 8, 2014 at 8:21 PM

      I also see Boyle take it hard, but you’re spot on. Couture was near tears and this guy is a leader. He is their future captain, I thought he proved his leadership last year, around mid-season. Then against Vancouver he was huge. Jumbo makes around 6.5 mil for the next few seasons and if his production stays par for the past 3 seasons he’ll be well worth the money… They’ve already stripped the captaincy from Marleau, they should do it again. But in my opinion Couture and Boyle gave it their all and Couture is the only one of the two to play for SJ next year.

  2. broadstreetbeatdown - May 7, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Boston did. SJ will be fine.

    • tru2joelu4eva - May 8, 2014 at 1:06 AM

      that’s not really a fair comparison. boston didn’t have nearly a decade of blown opportunities behind them when they lost that series.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - May 8, 2014 at 1:25 AM

        Very true. The only comparison I was trying to make was that Boston rebounded in grand fashion by winning the cup. SJ has some work to do but there is no need to blow the team up although they should at a minimum trade Thrornton while he still has a lot of value.

    • hailkingleon - May 8, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Except Boston was missing its entire top line of Krejci, Sturm, and Savard as well as one of their top D-Men Seidenberg when PHI came back. Sharks were at full strength up top and only lost Vlasic for two games.

  3. sjsharksfan11 - May 7, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Take a look at players that took part in optional skates: Marleau a so called “leader” was often absent. He’s a guy that should have not been handed a new contract. The PP was dismal. Who coaches the PP? Woodcroft: a guy who had never played an NHL game in his life. The top players just aren’t hungry or gritty enough either. There’s bright spots and then the dark spots like Marleau, Havlat, and Thornton bring you back to reality. Doug Wilson’s excuses are tiresome. HE needs to go.

    • Slapshot - May 8, 2014 at 3:13 AM

      Yeah, Wilson is GM and Associate VP and reports to the owner who lives in another country. He’s not held accountable and yet opens up the checkbook to Marleau and Thornton, who don’t like to get their hands dirty in the playoffs.

    • rauhj - May 8, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      11,
      Excellent points. Not sure why so many softies are giving you the thumbs down but it doesn’t matter. Changes have to be made and not peripheral players. The Sharks have always been built well for the regular season but can’t seem to sustain a strong playoff run. Need more dedication, grit, and willingness to push the limit. Maybe the Sharks scouts can tail the Kings scouts and steal some of the players that the Kings seem to acquire/develop.

  4. sjsharks66 - May 8, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    Couture stepped it up with his fight and heart. Wish I could say the same for the big guys. Where did you go Joe? Should have dropped the gloves with someone. Get angry big guy!

    Hope this is the kick in the ass the Sharks need. They are the laughing stock of the NHL right now. They will be next season as well, unless they win the cup.

  5. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 8, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    http://lalive.s3.amazonaws.com/img/choke.png

  6. kingsfan93 - May 8, 2014 at 2:32 AM

    As the General Manager (GM) Doug Wilson is of the San Jose Sharks for the last 11yrs now, he has done a good job, for the most part by;

    *Presidents’ Trophy in 2009
    *FIVE Pacific Division Titles (04′,08′,09′,10′,11′)
    *Western Conference Finals THREE times (04′,10′,11′)
    *40+ wins 10yrs of 11yrs since D. Wilson been GM
    *In last 11yrs since GM Doug Wilson being GM they racked up; 1017 regular season points and second most wins in NHL with 501 reg. season wins (right behind Detroit).

    Doug Wilson has made some debatable trades over his time, check it out;
    http://www.nhltradetracker.com/user/trade_list_by_GM/Doug_Wilson/222

    But even with that being said, the team has NOT achieved their goal to win the Stanley Cup.

    If the SJ Sharks got rid of their GM Doug Wilson right now, there will be another GM coming in with his own mindset with the way he wants things to be with the team. So it could be a good or bad thing.

    In order to get this team to the next level to achieve their goal in order to win the Stanley Cup is get rid of A. Niemi, J. Thornton, P. Marleau, D. Boyle, M Havlat, and S. Hannan go.

    A. Niemi for the past two season (now) in the playoffs has been inconsistent. He has shown he can not get the job done. He is an inconsistent clutch goalie that can’t come up big in games with the big saves. As a team going into playoffs you got to have a go to guy in net as your #1 goalie that you are confident with. There is not a big market out there to replace A. Niemi, just MAYBE 2-3 teams.

    J. Thornton one of the best players in the game, especially as a playmaker. He has all the right characteristics a team would want out of a player, but his playoff performances has been within question by not being that “clutch player” to lead his team to the promise land. He may have 47pts in 56 games in the last 5 seasons (now), but this team needs a new face who has that demeanor as a player to step up in big games to win.

    P. Marleau has been with the SJ Sharks since he first started in the NHL and that is a well respected player for what he has done in the past. But like many players in the NHL, no matter who you are or what you done, when a team needs to make changes, just expect you can be traded, too. Marleau’s age will be catching up to him. So while his engine is still running on all cylinders who can still put up points, trade him while you can.

    D. Boyle (I could be wrong) but he doesn’t look like the same player he once was. I know he has been known to have strong work ethic and a solid D-man in the NHL, but his time is up and this team needs to look elsewhere, unless he agrees to a less of a role with less money.

    M. Havlat has just been a wreck since coming to the SJ Sharks. He hasn’t really done anything great. Buy him out would be the best thing for the Sharks to do.

    S. Hannan is slow and up there in age. SJ Sharks have depth on defense that can replace him. So hope they not afraid to do so.

    As for the Coaching staff, keep them. It is NOT T. McLellan’s fault for the reason being this team blew a 3-0 against (my team – LA Kings). He is a great coach. But with the hand he has been dealt with, since 2009 being on the SJ Sharks, has been a lot of the same players for reason being this team hasn’t gone anywhere in the playoffs.

    • hailkingleon - May 8, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      So genius, how are you going to “get rid” of two guys that just signed 3-year contracts with No Movement clauses specifically so they could finish their careers in SJ.

    • gohawks7 - May 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      I agree with this….and I would add Brad Stuart to that list of must go’s. But….with long-term contracts with no trade clauses….it will be tough. HOWEVER….most players want the no trade clause so they can dictate where they go. Give Patty and Jumbo good opportunities somewhere else….and they might go for it.

  7. dontbsuchapuss - May 8, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    That’s nice take responsibility after it’s over where was he when the kings took them to school. Sad to be up three games and have four games to finish it and loose all of them. A house cleaning should be in order can’t blame the coach when his supposed best players are mentally on the back nine of the golf course. He along with joe and a few others should be looking for a new place to play.

  8. patthehockeyfan - May 8, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    As happy as I am that my Kings beat San Jose, I still feel for the Sharks and their fans.

    Couture needs to put this behind him and not think about it at all anymore. He may think that remembering it, combined with a resolve that it doesn’t happen again, helps; but, in reality, it doesn’t. As long as it’s in his head, it’s a detriment, and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Let it go and move on.

    • rauhj - May 8, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      Pat,
      You just can’t put a loss like this behind you and not think about it anymore. . It’s brutal, it will remain an open wound and you will never forget it. As athletes (or for most anyone) it is those devastating losses, et al that you simply don’t forget. Time will dull the sting but you don’t forget.

      • patthehockeyfan - May 8, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        Thanks for your comment, rauhj.

        I didn’t write to forget about it. I wrote not to think about it. There’s a difference.

        And to your point, ‘you just can’t …. not think about it anymore,’ yes, you can. You, Couture, everyone is in control over what they think about. Who else is?

        I commented on an article last week about the Sharks’ loss. The Sharks had a great year, and they had the talent to have such a year. Granted, Darryl Sutter made some adjustments in the Kings’ game, and McLellan didn’t counter. My point then, as it is now, is that the 4-straight-game loss was more mental than anything. As long as the negative thoughts of their past playoff performances were in the Sharks’ minds, they were doomed to repeat an early exit from this year’s playoffs. There’s the doubt and the worry. As long as those thoughts are in their minds, they’ll make it happen, and find a way to lose to fulfill the negative thoughts.

        I’ve copied a quote on several previous articles: Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.

        And to repeat, it’s time to let it go and move on.

  9. jrpsf - May 8, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Couture spends way too much time giving interviews. His time could be much better spent working on his strength and his game. It is on a slow but continual decline. He had a difficult time with the attention Hertl received as the new young star and didn’t find his game until Hertl was injured. Ego issues? Wow. The first 5 goals our natural goal scorer got this season were either empty netters or fluky bounces of the goalie or the opponents D. He had more assists than goals this season. He is a center who doesn’t back check or play defense, hence the shot blocking.
    Couture is the player to trade before he becomes the next Seto, Cheech, or Bernier. He is not worth the same as Pavs.
    If the Sharks could move Thornton, trade Couture for real value and move Burns back to D where he belongs they would be back on track. Pavs and Patty produce big numbers and produce in the playoffs with rookies or third liners while Thornton and Couture need starts to assist them. True stars don’t need that.

    • gsprulz - May 8, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      totally wrong.

  10. gohawks7 - May 8, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    This trend of playoff failures isn’t something they are going to learn from. Sure…they may know what they need to take away from it….but it’s not in their mental ability or personal character to apply what they have learned. Some players just aren’t able to turn the dial up to 11 when needed. Some players don’t want to be the one with the puck on their stick (or bat in their hand, ball in their hand, etc) when the game is on the line. I’ve played sports my whole life at competitive levels, (div 1 tennis, fast pitch softball, etc). Even at the non professional level you can tell the guys who when the team needs them their heart isn’t beating out of their chest. It’s the same for pros. There are guys who work the count and have a 7-8 pitch at bat trying to get the winning run home from 3rd with 2 outs…and there are guys who swing at the first pitch and send a weak fly ball to the outfield. I would guess that these types of pressure players make up 15-20% of the total. Unfortunately, for the Sharks, they don’t have many of these guys. That is something that can’t be coached, taught or learned. I don’t think McLellan is the problem…but I think Wilson has a problem seeing this quality in the players he signs. It might be because he lacks that quality himself. But that is the main problem with this team.

    Another is team pride/unity. Vlasic goes down from an intentional hit to the head….and NOBODY on this team even looked at Stoll cross-eyed. He should have been knocked on his ass on his next shift, take the 2, 4, or 5 minute penalty and move on. Instead….they dismiss it and play with their tails between their legs.

  11. gsprulz - May 8, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    After the reverse sweep, Jumbo deserves to lose the C. He’s my favorite player on the Sharks but, I think Couture’s attitude and bitterness is better than Jumbo and Marleau just shrugging it off and not taking it personal losing every year in the playoffs. You think our players would play with a chip on their shoulder but, they totally are just complacent because they have had above average teams.

    • gohawks7 - May 8, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      If the Sharks were in Canada or on the East Coast….this playoff buffoonery wouldn’t be tolerated. Canadian fans would have been rioting in the streets 4-5 years ago.

      • gsprulz - May 9, 2014 at 3:01 AM

        To be honest, San Jose fans expect Sharks to win it every year even though we haven’t. I think the losses to LA took everyone by surprise there was no emotion in San Jose. That quietness after game 7 was probably the first time in a long while that perhaps Kings have had a better team than us. We won the series against the kings in the season the year they won the cup. Last year Sharks outplay the kings but, Quick steals some games. This year..the tide finally turned against us.

  12. blomfeld - May 8, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    “LET US COMPLETE OUR BUSINESS HERE”

    what’s done is done, time to move on …

    _______________________________

    blomfeld – Apr 21, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    “YES, THEY’VE TAKEN THE BAIT !”

    *** on the quarter deck aboard HMS Surprise somewhere in the Pacific ***

    Captain Blomfeld: right lads, the shark appears to have taken the bait … so every man to his station with ‘quick’ being the word and ‘kopitar’ being the eye ! … we’ve managed to draw this fish in close and so now we’re going to turn him into sushi !

    Crew Members: hurrah ! .. hurrah ! .. hurrah ! :) :) :)

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