Randy's Ramblings - 6/29/2013

Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 9:30 AM
By Randy Hahn - Sharks TV, Play-by-Play Broadcaster / The Daily Chomp
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Randy\'s Ramblings - 6\/29\/2013
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Let’s agree that the most difficult job in the NHL is playing in the league. The second toughest thing to do just might be deciding whom to draft in the first round.

On Sunday in New Jersey the San Jose Sharks hockey department, headed up by General Manager Doug Wilson and Director of Scouting Tim Burke, will go about the task of trying to identify an 18 year old player who they hope can make a huge difference on the ice in the NHL some day. It’s a daunting task.

Back in June of 2007 the San Jose Sharks made a trade with the St. Louis Blues and moved up to the 9th position in the first round of the draft where they selected 18-year-old Logan Couture from the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League. That season Couture had managed 78 points in just 54 games and finished second on his team in scoring behind eventual Sharks teammate Jamie McGinn. Logan added eight more points in five playoff games.

Although he had very good offensive numbers, it wasn’t numbers alone that convinced the Sharks to use their valuable pick on Couture. Near the end of that 2006-2007 season Couture was banged up with a variety of injuries. But he didn’t throw in the towel. He didn’t quit. He could have shut down for the year and preserved his draft status. But he didn’t worry about that. He kept on going. He played hurt and showed a tremendous amount of dedication and heart to the bitter end. It was when the Sharks scouting staff saw those attributes in a skilled teenage hockey player they were convinced they were making the right choice. What a choice it’s turned out to be.

This past season we saw Logan Couture break through as a true star in the NHL. And in Game 3 of the second round against Los Angeles we saw those same character traits that emerged in the OHL in 2007 re-emerge in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After crashing awkwardly into the boards in the second period and hobbling to the dressing room, Couture returned to the game and eventually scored the overtime game-winning goal helping the Sharks avoid an 0-3 deficit in the series. Your can venture your own guess as to how Logan “magically” recovered from what was obviously a nasty ankle injury. Whatever that treatment was, it had to be repeated before each of the remaining games of the series. Logan Couture had once again revealed his character, his leadership and his toughness. Just as he did in 2007 when the Sharks decided he was their man.

Sunday the Sharks will go through the process all over again. When they make their selection in the first round it won’t be all about statistics, it’ll also be about heart and character. If they can come close to the pick they made on that day in June seven years ago, we’ll all have something very special to look forward to.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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