Logan Couture devastated, but believes Sharks will get stronger
Owner to decide on San Jose GM, coach
It's been eight days since the San Jose Sharks were eliminated in the playoffs in stunning fashion by Los Angeles, and Logan Couture admits he's still "devastated" about the turnabout.
San Jose built a 3-0 lead on the Kings, scoring 17 times, but could manage only five more goals en route to losing the next four games. Los Angeles blew open the finale, winning 5-1.
"It's been impossible to watch any more hockey since we lost," Couture admitted on Hockey Night in Canada Radio on Wednesday.
The nature of the loss helped add to the reputation of the Sharks, deserved or not, as underachievers.
It should be pointed out that San Jose is one of only three teams to reach the Western Conference finals three times in the last 10 years, a claim about a dozen other teams can't make.
But Chicago and Detroit, the other two teams to accomplish that feat in the last 10 years, have won Stanley Cups as a result. The Sharks, on the other hand, have never made it to the Stanley Cup final.
As a result, speculation has been plentiful as to whether Sharks owner Hasso Plattner will give general manager Doug Wilson and coach Todd McLellan another chance next season.
Cause for optimism
Wilson has been at his helm since 2003, with McLellan behind the bench in San Jose the past six seasons.
Wilson said last week he'd recommend to ownership that McLellan be retained.
With a few coaching vacancies still available in the NHL, McLellan would likely be a desired candidate where he to become a free agent.
Couture told Rob Pizzo and Elliotte Friedman on the program Thursday that he wouldn't want to be in Wilson's place right now, but that ultimately it's on the 23 players who didn't get the job done.
"Something's gotta change and we have to be a better team because of this," he said.
Couture averaged a point per playoff game last spring, but managed just a goal and two assists in seven post-season games.
It was a rollercoaster season for the London, Ont., native. He attended Team Canada's Olympic orientation camp in August and got off to a strong start, but wrist surgery helped scuttle his chances of going to Sochi.
The centre finished with 23 goals and 30 assists in 65 regular season games.
Couture said there was reason for optimism surrounding the Sharks. He cited Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto, who helped bolster San Jose's forward depth, which had been a recurring problem area in past seasons.
Couture won't rest on his talents either, working this summer to improve his strength - he shares the same trainer as rival and London native Drew Doughty of the Kings.
"It feels like this summer is going to be a long one, but I'm sure what a lot of us on our team are going to do is use the loss we had as motivation ... I really believe it's going to make us all stronger."
In that regard, the Sharks can look to the Boston Bruins. The Bruins blew a 3-0 lead to Philadelphia in 2010, but swept the Flyers the next spring en route to winning the Stanley Cup.