Sharks rookie steals the teal spotlight

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Couture leads the team with 17 goals, 14 of those on the road. He's as surprised as anyone.

"For me to be leading the team, I don't think many people would have said that at the start of the year with this type of talent we have on this team, but I think it's good because those guys are going to get their goals," says Couture.

Couture knows that a lot of teams are facing him for the first time and the second time around will be a different situation.

"The more I play in this league, the more people are going to know what type of game I play and they're going to defense against it," says Couture.

His biggest fans may be his coach and teammates.

"He's been fabulous. I'm not sure where we would be without him. People ask me to describe him and I keep using the word catalyst, he seems to make our team go right now," says Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

"He's been consistent all year long, gaining confidence every day, and he's a player that does all the little things and that adds up to him getting offensive chances and he's burying them," says Patrick Marleau, who has 11 goals this season.

Usually it's veterans inspiring the rookies, but with Couture, it's working in reverse.

"Sometimes the youth can come in and inject a little fire into some of the older players. I think Couture had done that," says McLellan.

This Sharks' locker room makes it easy for rookies to make the adjustment at this level.

"It's fantastic, everyone is so open and approachable, from the top guys to the young guys, they're easy to talk to, so it really helps," says Couture.

Well, Couture hopes to keep his hot hand going on Tuesday night at the tank as the Sharks host Edmonton.

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