It wasn't Logan Couture's fault that he was hogging most of the attention. But he was the fashionable storyline as this playoff series against the Canucks began. The general theme was that the Sharks' 24-year-old centerman has become the team's new unofficial leader, taking the flag from veteran captain Joe Thornton and assistant captain Patrick Marleau.
Uh, not so fast.
The Sharks continued their hard-hitting playoff journey here Friday night with a stunner 3-2 overtime victory over Vancouver to take a 2-0 lead in the series. And while the winning goal was scored on the fly by trade-acquisition favorite Raffi Torres, the game never would have reached overtime without the extra efforts of Thornton and Marleau.
The old guard still matters with this team. Right?
"Are you calling me old?" Marleau joked afterward when the question was posed to him.
No, just calling him very necessary and crucial to the cause. Same with Thornton. Same with the other veteran Sharks.
"It has to be done by committee," coach Todd McLellan said. "I think we realize that for us to have success those long-term Sharks have to step up."
For the record, they did. And for the first time ever, the Sharks have started a playoff series by winning two games on the road.
"There's still a lot of work ahead," said Marleau.
Not as much work as there could have been, thanks to him and Thornton. We should note that the notion of old guard giving way to new guard on the Sharks wasn't made up entirely out of thin air. A few weeks ago, McLellan had opined that Couture was "driving our bus." And this week, Thornton himself said of Couture that the Sharks are now "his team."