Goldipucks and the Three Skaters: Eichel, Couture, & Brown

Rick Roos

2021-01-06

Welcome back to Goldipucks and the Three Skaters, a play on words of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story. Here though, instead of there being three bowls of porridge I’m covering three skaters and declaring one too hot (i.e., doing unsustainably better than he should), another too cold (i.e., doing unsustainably worse), and a third “just right” (i.e., producing where he should be). I also assign each a rating of 1-10, indicating just how hot (rated 7-10, where 10 is the most unsustainably hot), or how cold (rated 1-4, where 1 is the most unsustainably cold), or how “just right” (rated 4-7, where 5.5 is the most “just right”) he is.

It's time for one last Goldipucks edition before the puck finally drops on 2020-21. Because it'll have been more than nine months since they last played an NHL game, this month's column will focus on players from three of the seven NHL teams which did not qualify for the play-in or playoffs, to help refresh your memory about them. The players are Logan Couture, Jack Eichel, and Connor Brown. As usual, your task is to stop here to decide which of the three was too hot, which was too cold, and whose output was just right, then to read on to see if your predictions turned out correct.

 

Logan Couture

It was 2019-20 to forget for the Sharks, who reached the conference finals and Cup finals in two of the previous four seasons. If making a list of players to blame, it surely would not start with Couture, who, despite the team's struggles, still ended up with a 62 point scoring pace. With Couture set to turn 32 during the upcoming season, and on a team many predict will continue to fare poorly, should we presume he'll continue to show his age? On the contrary – I'd bank on him doing better for 2020-21.

Couture scored at a .65 point per game pace every single season from age 21 to 30. Since 2000-01, that feat has been accomplished by ten other forwards, nine of whom have already played their age-32 season. Of the nine, four posted better than a point per game numbers at that age, while only one (Phil Kessel in 2019-20) failed to score 65 points; and the average point total of the nine was 75 points. In other words, his past consistency is a