A season filled with milestones, the 2018-19 NHL campaign was a good one from a statistical standpoint. Whether it was individual marks or franchise records, there were a number of special moments from the past season.
Over the next little while, we’ll look back at some of the biggest moments from the past seven months – how they’ve impacted the individuals’ careers and the game itself. With that in mind, here’s a look at one San Jose Sharks forward who set both an individual and franchise milestone on the same point.
Logan Couture Reaches 500
Drafted by the Sharks in the first round, ninth overall, in 2007, Logan Couture has spent the entirety of his career with San Jose – a career that, to this point, has lasted 10 years. While Couture has had some run-ins with the injury bug over the years, the 2018-19 season marked his best offensive season of his career – tallying 70 points in 81 games and besting his career-high 67 points he set back in 2014-15.
While he finished with 27 goals and a career-high 43 assists, the most notable moment of his season may have come late in the season when he recorded his 500th career point.
It was his 73rd game of the regular season with the Sharks – a Monday night affair against the Vegas Golden Knights on March 18 in San Jose. While it was a notable night for Couture, it was one the Sharks would rather forget – seeing their third straight loss as the Knights walked out of town with a 7-3 victory when it was all said and done.
Still, it was an important night for Couture and in Sharks history. Early on, it seemed as though the Sharks had come out to play – or at least Couture had. Just 30 seconds into the opening frame, the 30-year-old fired home his 25th goal of the season to open the scoring and give his club a 1-0 lead. The goal would also stand as his 500th career point as he shovelled the puck past Malcolm Subban early in the game.
The lead didn’t last long as Vegas scored just three minutes later and while Couture would add a second goal, the Sharks would end up losing the game. While Couture became the fourth Shark in franchise history to reach the 500-point plateau – behind Joe Pavelski (761 points), Joe Thornton (1,024 points) and Patrick Marleau (1,082 points) – getting to the milestone also penciled his name into the franchise record book.
Quick to the Draw
Pavelski. Thornton. Marleau. And now Couture. That’s the short list of the team’s 500-point players. But our focus is on the 30-year-old Couture and how quickly he reached the milestone.
While each of these players is impressive in their own way, Couture’s 500th point came in his 655th career game with the Sharks – making him the fastest player in franchise history to reach that mark.
With a number of games left in the 2018-19 season, Couture was able to add to his total – finishing the year with 507 points. That was thanks, in large part, to his 70-point career year. On top of reaching the milestone and taking over as the quickest to reach to goal on the franchise’s list, Couture passed former team captain Owen Nolan (451 points with San Jose) for fourth on the team’s all-time list.
As for where he sits on the NHL’s all-time list, Couture jumped nearly 130 spots from 595th all-time before the season started to 467th following the 2018-19 campaign. That leaves him just one point shy of tying Mark Johnson and Joel Otto (508 points) for 465th on the league’s all-time list.
Regardless of how the remainder of his career goes, for the time being, Couture will remain in the Sharks record book as the quickest player to 500 points. That said, something tells me he’s not quite done yet.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.