Sharks notes: OT success; more on Couture

Sharks notes: OT success; more on Couture
May 20, 2013, 10:00 am
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Dan Boyle: "It’s overtime. It’s definitely a pressure situation. But as you get older and as you play more of them, you feel more comfortable." (AP)

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SAN JOSE – The Sharks are 3-0 in overtime through seven playoff games, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise. San Jose has won nine of its last 10 playoff overtime games, including seven in a row. Their only playoff win last year was in overtime of Game 1 against St. Louis, and in 2011, San Jose won three overtime games against the Kings in the first round and two more against Detroit in the second.

Dan Boyle gave his perspective on why they’ve had such success.

“You’d rather not have to go into overtime, but I think we probably feel comfortable,” he said. “That comes with experience.

“It’s overtime. It’s definitely a pressure situation. But as you get older and as you play more of them, you feel more comfortable. Hopefully, us older guys are calm and the poise out there rubs off on some of the younger guys and they get more comfortable. It’s a good thing.”

For Logan Couture, Saturday night was the first playoff overtime goal of his career, and just his second overtime goal in the league.

"Guys want to step up and score big goals on this team. We've got a lot of guys who have scored a lot of overtime goals,” Couture said, mentioning Raffi Torres’ and Patrick Marleau’s overtime winners in the first round against Vancouver.

"We're an older team in here. Guys keep the dressing room so calm. … We don't even feel like it's overtime. We feel like we're going out there for the first period again. Next goal wins."

And how does it feel to get that next goal?

"You know you won the game. It's a feeling that really can't be described. It's one of the best feelings in the game of hockey, that's for sure."

* * *

Several players mentioned how Couture’s return from a banged up left leg in the second period gave the team a boost, after it had played most of the middle frame with just 10 forwards. Marty Havlat didn’t return after the first intermission with a lower body injury.

“The fans felt it, and as fans react to it, we react to it too,” Joe Pavelski said. “He’s a good player, obviously, when he’s out there he’s making plays and contributing. It’s always good to see when one of your top players comes back.”

Late in the period, Couture briefly hopped over the boards, apparently testing out his leg to make sure everything was fine. He played the last shift of the period in a four-on-four situation.

“I wanted to get him one shift in if we could in the second period before we went in, just to get him feeling the game again a little bit,” Todd McLellan said. “In between periods, he said he was good to go.”

* * *

Couture held court with a larger than normal media horde on Sunday after he wasn’t made available on Saturday night. He touched on a number of subjects, including:

• Respect for officials is something that’s in his blood, as his father is a former referee for the National Lacrosse League.

“I was always taught to respect referees. I saw how tough a job he had. I went to a lot of games, sat in the crowd. Fans never like the referees' calls. That's just the way it goes. I dealt with that. He's always said to be nice to refs, treat them with respect."

His dad retired from the job a few years ago. Couture often went to games with his mother and younger brother.

“She just said to keep my mouth shut. Don't let on that you're related," he said.

"Respect their decisions. They're not going to change their mind after they make the call. Everyone makes mistakes, and they're the best in the world at what they do. They're in the NHL for a reason. Let them do their job. You're not going to like every single call that's made. That's reality. It's what you do after the call is made."

• It was suggested to Couture that he’s the clear choice to be the Sharks’ next captain at some point down the line.

"I don't look that far ahead now,” he said “Joe [Thornton] is here. He's our captain, he's our leader. He's someone I respect a lot as a person, as a player, and I've learned a lot from. He's done a great job since he's been captain. We have other guys, Boyler, who I respect a ton, too, Patty, Pav. There's a lot of leaders in this room."

Is it something to aim for?

"I haven't really thought about that. The only thing I'm striving for now is to win the Stanley Cup. I haven't thought about being a captain, or anything like that."

• Couture, good friends with Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, attended his Stanley Cup party over the summer, but avoided getting close to the silver chalice.

"I didn't, no. The rest of my family did. I took the picture for them, but I didn't go anywhere near it.

"I was happy for Drew. I played with him for a long time. We have the same group of four or five really good friends. I think this year after Drew won his, they're secretly pulling for me. They're telling me that. Maybe they're telling him the same thing."