Couture dishes on top defensemen, from tattoos to knocking out teeth

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When a hockey post springs up at The Players’ Tribune, it’s always worth a look, and not merely because you’re often getting unique perspectives from active athletes.

The best moments come when you get a little peek behind the curtain, when you get a feel for locker room banter and moments behind the scenes.

Logan Couture trotted out the toughest defensemen he’s ever faced back on August 4, and the list is strong, from obvious picks (Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty) to slightly less famous names (Roman Josi).

Really, though, the esoteric details are the highlight.

For instance: yet another reason to be amused by Brent Burns:

Fun fact: Burnzie got his first tattoo when he was 11 years old. It’s a Canadian flag with two hockey sticks going through it. And his dad took him to get it.

As great as Couture’s analysis of Burns’ traits might be, that tattoo bit is especially fantastic.

The Sharks forward doesn’t just shed light on one of his most talented teammates. His “fun fact” about Mark Giordano sounds quite painful, actually:

Fun fact: Giordano knocked the exact same tooth out of my mouth in back-to-back seasons. Both times were in San Jose off a face-off in the same circle. Both times, the refs didn’t even call a penalty. The second time, I went up to Gio at the end of the period and said, “Man, you got me again. Same toof.”

(Bonus points for “toof.”)

Couture also singled out some of the best two-way centers in that post, and his “Elite Centers 101” post from January is worth a read.

The Players’ Tribune needs more Brent Burns talk, though, honestly. Can’t get enough of that guy.