If Logan Couture
is looking for advice on how to avoid a letdown in his second full NHL season, perhaps he can look at how Zach Parise
excelled with heightened expectations while facing nearly the same scenario four years ago.
Parise didn't have a Calder-worthy rookie campaign with the Devils the way Couture did with the Sharks last season, amassing just 14 goals and 32 points in 81 games. But in his second season -- the first one in which he was playing consistently on scoring lines -- Parise had 31 goals and 62 points in 82 games as a 22-year-old, very similar numbers to what Couture posted as a 21-year-old rookie.
Parise followed his sophomore season with a nearly identical one, with 32 goals and 65 points in 81 games. Back-to-back 30-goal seasons would seem to be evidence that Parise thrived with a bull's-eye on his back after his breakout campaign, but he said it was anything but easy to repeat the feat in his third season.
"I wouldn't say it was harder. It was more frustrating because I wanted to take bigger step than I did," Parise said. "It was more frustrating of a season. I remember I started off really good and started to tail off in the second half of the season. It was more frustrating, but we were getting a little more attention out there."