From Logannn, with loooooooooove.
That’s for the James Bond aficionados in the house and has been playing in my head ever since Logan Couture single handedly dropped the hammer on the Big Russian, Alex Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals.
Two things are undeniable. First off, no matter what anybody ever says Sean Connery was the best James Bond ever. How this is even up for review is beyond me. Honestly.
The second undeniable fact is that Logan Couture is one bad man, but the question still remains whether he will be the Timothy Dalton of the series (doubtful), mature to a solid Roger Moore (underrated) for the San Jose Sharks or just crush it all, get the girl(s) and become the Sean Connery of NHL professional ice hockey.
Recently, the topic of Alpha Bond came up over beers with some buddies of mine, some of whom spent the evening vociferously touting the likes of Roger Moore and Daniel Craig over Sean Connery. One guy even went as far as to drop a George Lazenby on me. Seriously. Now granted, the guy that went Lazenby was the exact same guy in my group of friends who refuses to like anything remotely mainstream, preferring to grow his own produce and loudly drop comments like, y’know…The Black Eyed Peas peaked in 1995 and I’ve been talking about Jimmer Fredette for at least 5 years and so on.
As my Bond convo with my buddies continued during the intermissions of the Sharks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets tilt last night, it seemed as though the only true metric for Bond actor ranking was a nuanced combination of quantity of films each Bond was in layered with whether each actor’s roster of movies were ultimately good cinema. Classic quantity+quality and once this high math was brought into play, only Connery stood tall. Five iconic films in the 60s, a decent one in the 70s and then a forgettable mulligan in the 80s = G.O.A.T. Long live the King.
Now, with Logan Couture, there is no doubt of the quality he brings to the table. Without any statistics at all, all one needs to do is watch any Sharks game to see this guy’s impact. You pick any of his shifts on any night and chances are you will see the best or second-best player on the ice.
But, if you insist on stats we can go there as well…
How about leading goal scorer on the team, leading goal scorer amongst NHL rookies and…oh right, owner of eight game winning goals on the year which happens to lead the entire NHL.
If you’re scoring at home, he’s ahead of Ovechkin on that last one. Go ahead and cue song again.
And then there’s Couture’s physical play which often goes unnoticed. At close to 6″ 2″ and 200 pounds, this is no water bug skating around avoiding contact and ducking checks. On the year, he has posted a respectable 27 PIMs, and though we are not witnessing the next incarnation of Brenden Shanahan, Couture has certainly shown himself to not shy away from contact and seems more than happy to get dirty when called upon.
See? Smooth, deadly and he scores–the guy is a double entendre away from early Connery.
Also, that little Bond-ian smirk you see on his face while on the bench is because Couture knows that he can literally skate circles around every single player, every single night and at his whim.
Ok, maybe everyone except Pavel Datsyuk because that guy is a stupid freak…but definitely everybody else.
He’s not at Connery level yet, and that title will only come after continued consistency of excellence and staying power (easy), but I think you can at least put him ahead of George Lazenby (one hit wonder) and Timothy Dalton (lame, even Black-Eyed-Peas-guy couldn’t defend that one). That would then leave Connery, Roger Moore, Remington Steele and Daniel Craig.
From those, I would put Logan Couture at the Daniel Craig level now–new to the series, couple of solid movies under his belt and bright future. Can mix it up in the corners, but also chase down bombers in third world countries…can maneuver the Aston Martin through the Italian countryside with ease but also fend off plodding 4th liners who are hanging all over him.
What is clear is that a young rookie who was called upon to make a halfway decent contribution at the beginning of the year has totally blown the doors off his team’s expectations. Playing with increased confidence on a nightly basis, Logan Couture has instead positioned himself, not as just a great young and upcoming Shark, but as a young and upcoming NHL star. Huge things are still in store for the kid and huge new expectations are beginning to form around him as they would any future superstar.
Couture is now a known commodity the entire League over not sneaking up on anyone. Rather, teams are taking him into account every game and tweaking their D around him…and they have been doing that for months.
Yet, the kid still is crushing it. That is the part that gives me the most hope that we are just seeing the beginning of a fantastic career versus a flash in the pan. He enters the rink in the tux with the hot girl on his arm…all the villains know who he is…all the henchmen see him coming and hide behind drapes with daggers, throw razor top hats at his head or try to poison his martini.
All the bad guys are ready and prepared to stop him…yet can’t in the end.
For some reason Logan Couture still seems to duck at the last minute and get his shot off into the back of the net…and all the San Jose Sharks keep on doing is winning because of it.
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