Jagr says that his hat trick masked what was arguably the most impressive thing Couturier did last night, shut down Evgeni Malkin.
"Don’t forget," said Jagr, "he has to play against probably the best player in the league, Malkin. If he wouldn’t score any goals, I would say he had a great game, but he played great defense and also scored three goals. I don’t know if I have any words to describe his game today. Awesome. Maybe something better than that. He was unbelievable."
Jagr says that at 19, Couts is already the teams’ best defensive forward.
"I don’t think I saw in my hockey career somebody that good defensively at a young age, and he showed it the first 10 games he played in the season – and the coach saw it right away. … I would say he’s our best defensive forward at age 18, 19. Maybe Ron Francis was kind of like that, but 18, 19 years old …
"He’s strong, but I think he’s so smart for his age. I think he play like he would play for 20 years. The awareness where to go, not overskate anything, not overplay. Just be right place, right time. That’s what they call defense."