Sharks

Sharks

Logan Couture bookended the Sharks' Game 1 victory over the Blues with a pair of goals. He added an assist in between, and was never on the ice for a goal against.

Those two goals and three points increased his playoff totals to 11 and 17, respectively, both of which lead all players. His plus-7 rating for the postseason is tied for first among all playoff forwards.

As such, Couture is on the short list of candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy, given annually to the most valuable player of the NHL playoffs.

But according to his coach, he should be in the running for another award as well. When asked why Couture hasn't gotten major consideration for the Selke Trophy -- given to the best defensive forward in the NHL -- Peter DeBoer could only compare it to another overlooked situation.

"I don't know," DeBoer said of Couture's omission as a Selke finalist following Sunday's skate. "I think of because where he plays a little. Logan is the forward version of (Marc-Edouard) Vlasic. Invaluable, does everything right ... Beauty of those guys is they're OK with that, they just want to win. That's what they do for us."

Vlasic, long considered one of the top defensive defensemen in the league, has never won a Norris Trophy, which tends to be given to more offensive defenseman, despite the award being intended for the best all-around player at the position.

 

Similarly, Couture has never won a Selke, nor did he win the Conn Smythe when he led all scorers with 30 playoff points in 2016. That honor, instead, went to Sidney Crosby, who posted 19 points on the Penguins' way to winning the Cup over the Sharks.

The 2019 Selke Trophy finalists include Boston's Patrice Bergeron, Vegas' Mark Stone and St. Louis' Ryan O'Reilly, meaning that if San Jose were to make it all the way to the Cup Final, Couture could possibly go head-to-head against all three players considered over him within the same playoff run.

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That's a game within the game, but one that won't distract Couture from his top priority. Individual accolades are all well and good, but as DeBoer said, he just wants to win.

If he keeps up his current level of play, the Sharks might do just that.