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Coming-of-age? Sean Couturier dominates in Flyers’ 6-3 win over Detroit

Dec 5, 2013, 12:32 AM EDT


Sean Couturier turns 21-years-old this Saturday, but he’s already well into his third full season in the NHL, and really starting to come into his own as an all-around player. He may have made a name for himself in the Philadelphia Flyers’ nationally televised 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

Couturier reached new career highs with four points (2 G, 2 A) and a plus-three rating, as he helped the Flyers erase a two-goal deficit and ultimately run the Red Wings out of their own building with five unanswered scores. He also won 11-of-21 faceoffs taken, and led all forwards in shifts with 30.

From a pure statistical standpoint, it was the best regular season game of Couturier’s career. He also registered four points once in the postseason as a rookie, potting three goals and a helper in Game 2 of Philadelphia’s first-round series over the Penguins.

His brilliant power-play feed to free up Steve Downie in the slot got the Flyers on the scoreboard in the first period. In the second, it was an instinctive dish from below the goal line to Matt Read all alone in front of the net, a critical play that cut Detroit’s lead to one before the teams went into the dressing room.

Both passes required tremendous vision, precision and impeccable execution. Couturier obliged, and his linemates were there to finish. How great has his pairing with Downie and Read been of late?

Fittingly, Couturier would punch home the decisive marker. He had positioned himself aside of Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard, which just happened to be where the puck was heading after Downie’s shot took a left turn off of a defender’s skate. Coots effortlessly redirected the biscuit into the basket to put the Flyers on top.

Good things happen when you crash the net.

Even the empty-netter was a heady play. Couturier patiently held on to the disc until he got the look he wanted, then fired it from the neutral zone to put the exclamation point on his night.

Claude Giroux also snapped a goal by Howard from outside the faceoff circle to tie the score on a nicely executed power play that pressured Detroit throughout. Giroux looked like he was setting up for it again on the next power play some minutes later, but once the captain attracted attention he passed to Scott Hartnell who had wheeled into the slot. Excellent play design.

Steve Mason stopped 32 of 35 shot attempts for Philadelphia.

It’s worth noting the Red Wings were without Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi, all scratched due to various injuries.

Couturier’s goals give him four in the Flyers’ last four games, and 10 points over the last nine. He’s up to 14 points (5 G, 9 A) and is plus-10 through 28 games this season.

Of course, the great thing about the 2011 eighth-overall pick is you always get more than what you see on the stat sheet. He plays great defense, rarely makes mistakes with the puck, and isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas when necessary.

The way he’s playing right now, and the fact that we’re talking this highly about a still-20-year-old kid should mean big things are in store for the Flyers in the future. Just imagine, Couturier could be wearing orange and black for another decade… or two.

>> Box Score [Yahoo!]

  1. brandonphilly - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    I saw that graphic during the game when he put up his third point of the night that this was his first career game with three points. I immediately thought about that playoff game against Pittsburgh and was reminded about the shoddy stat guys over at Versus. I love this kid. Only he and Giroux are untouchable.

  2. Lol - Dec 5, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Man, the defense is so much better when Grossmann and Coburn are split up. And I don’t care if he has a nice shot, I still don’t want Mez out there at all.

  3. t800m101 - Dec 5, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    It was hilarious watching the Red Faggots squirm all over the ice everytime a Flyer touched them. Loved it when Hartnell punched Nyquist in the head and he just layed there like the pussy she is. Detroit is the softest and most pathetic team in the league.

    • Earl - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      Do you have to put your comments through a centrifuge to get them that stupid?

      You are the Heisenberg of stupid comments. That comment is like 99.1% pure stupidity.

      • t800m101 - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        Were you deprived of oxygen at some point in your life? Sure looks like it. Not only did the Flyers own the Red Pussies on the scoreboard, but they punked them the entire game as well. What Hartnell did was a thing of beauty, what Schenn did do Abdelkader was awesome, and the Flyers punked them at the end of the game as well, and of course Team Sweden didn’t do shit about it. You should be praising this, but you’re coming across as a huge vagina. You might as well be a Red Wing fan yourself.

      • Earl - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Man, look at the purity of that stupidity. Tuco and his boys could never get stupidity that pure. The best Gale Boetticher could do was 92.8% stupidity. And those Cartel scientists could not even come close.

        You know who I am! Say my name!

        Time for some crystal blue persuasion!

      • t800m101 - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Earl, thank you for proving my point. You are no longer needed. Thank you.

    • Mo-Cup-Town - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      If they awarded the Stanley Cup for dirty play, the Flyers would be champs ever year!

      Red Wings have only won 4 since the Flyers last won a Cup! That’s the award you get at the end of the playoffs if you win your last game! The Flyers got a Good view of it in 1997!

      • Schmidsy - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        Whaaaaaaaaaa!!! they are sooo dirty.. WHAAAAAAAAA!

        ..Ya got your ass handed to you the other night….after being up by two..
        Take it like the bitch you are and go troll on Monday’s E-A-G-L-E-S article, when they dismantle your chump-ass Lions on Sunday.

        Punk Ass..


      • willh888 - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        mo-ghost-town, before everyone in your city quits and moves away, i want to know: Why would you guys go to hockey games dressed as seats?

  4. Marvin Monroe - Dec 5, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    The last time you wrote a column like this, the Flyers laid the biggest goose egg of the year against the Panthers. Can we hold off on jinxing them?

    • 2sentz - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      Gosh Marvin, 16 people hated your comment in about 3 minute’s time. Methinks T800 has more free time than anyone knew.

      • Steve - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        Methinks there is something seriously wrong with Earl.

      • Marvin Monroe - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        If there was one thing we could be sure about, it was that T800 has plenty of free time. Probably going to stay that way for a while too.

      • KulpHaterNo1 - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        Did T800 lose his job at the Skoal factory?

      • t800m101 - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        You tools gonna repeat the same retarded ad hominems ad nauseum because you have no legitimate argument against what I have to say? Sure looks like it. Maybe one day you guys will graduate from the short bus, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

      • Earl - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Watch out 2sentz! The votebot is coming for you too!

        Be warned of the crippling depression that follows when you get 20 negative votes in 30 seconds. Ohhh the humanity!

        If we get out of this alive, first round is on me!

      • TheDude - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        Earl, your whole argument is ‘haha you’re stupid’ but you present no factual argument yourself. You have done this before. Instead of saying this, actually refute the claim for once.

      • Earl - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        @The Dude

        Presenting a factual argument that T800 is stupid is like presenting a factual argument that the ocean is wet.

      • TheDude - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        Earl, you’re a broken record. I suppose that’s what we can expect from you, however.

      • MJS - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        @TheDude you’re asking for the most worthless factual argument here, though. Is Earl suppose to respond with, well actually they’re called the Red Wings and not Red Faggots or the Red Pussies? Nyquist is actually a he and not a she? Punching someone (not named Bertuzzi) in the back of the head is, in fact, not a thing of beauty? Think about what you’re asking for here.

      • Steve - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        Are you not aware that Red Wings are in fact the pussiest team in the NHL? They just rolled over and died the night in their own building as the Flyers humiliated them. They’re a far cry from their glory days. Btw, what Hartnell did to Nyquist was hilarious. I don’t know how anyone could bash that. Some of you cry like soccer fans.

      • MJS - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:53 AM

        Very few plays that put us on the PK for 2 minutes can be considered awesome and/or hilarious. Square up and fight, or at least take the other guy with you for a roughing penalty, and then we’ll talk about a thing of beauty (or how hilarious it was considering we’re talking about Hartnell).

        Now Downie and Rinaldo at the end of that game…that was awesome. Rinaldo looked like a straight up serial killer after throwing a jab at Helm(believe it was him, but could be wrong) and Downie called Abdelkader a commie or a dummy (either works for me).

      • t800m101 - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        So who on the Red Pussies is going to stand up and fight? The only way they would fight is if they are forced to, and even if that happens, they would turtle most of the time. They’re a sorry excuse for a hockey team. Somewhere Joey Kocur is shaking his head and Bob Probert is rolling over in his grave.

    • t800m101 - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      Marilyn, looks like you found your BFF, Earl. Match made in heaven for you two. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

  5. FlyersFan - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    What a great win last night. The team showed poise and a calm confidence after being down 3-1. The young core of this team is developing nicely. Finally signs of progress.

    Love what I’m seeing from the young guys. Couturier is playing off-the-charts quality hockey recently. Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds bringing a physical, agitating aspect and doing the dirty work like screening the goalies, Matt Read bringing speed and a nice skill set with a nose for the puck.

    On the defensive side, with Luke Schenn and the proper development of guys like Samuel Morin, Robert Hagg, Shayne Gostisbehere, Gustafsson, Stolarz on the goaltending side, and a few others who could be included in the mix, the future looks bright.

    I still say the Flyers should be exploring a trade with Edmonton to get Yakupov without giving up our young core pieces. Perhaps something involving Hartnell, a prospect and a pick. I think Yakupov on Giroux’s wing would be an incredible dynamic to add.

    • t800m101 - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      No chance Edmonton (or any team for that matter) would take Hartnell’s contract.

      • FlyersFan - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:30 PM


        You’re probably right but Hartnell would fill a need for Edmonton that they currently lack. Not sure that I agree completely that no team would be interested in Hartnell, especially if he gets back to form.

  6. 2sentz - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    What’s up with this being sold as a “RIVALRY!” game? Til last night we hadn’t won in their building since like 1988, right? We’ve never played them more than once a season except 1997, which was a boring sweep. Seems this matchup is like 28th on the Flyers list of “Rivals”.

    • BenE. - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:10 AM


      • Marvin Monroe - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM

        Based on the ratings NBC is getting for English Premier League soccer at 10 in the morning on the East Coast, they have earned some trust marketing sports. They are not trying to appeal to hardcore hockey fans. At this time of the year, they are trying to appeal to people trying to decide if they are watching college basketball, NBA or NHL. College football is winding down, college hoops is still getting started. It’s their time of the year to grab as many viewers as possible. They advertised the game well, and ended up with a pretty entertaining hockey game Wednesday night.

    • Andrew Kulp - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:42 AM

      I think the simple and fair explanation besides getting two major hockey markets on national TV at the same time is Detroit is suddenly in the Eastern Conference now, so new rivalries are being built up. Did it instantly become Flyers-Pens? No, but for the sake of the sport, I don’t have a problem with Philly-Detroit being marketed as a rivalry in its first year.

      • 2sentz - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:53 AM

        But Mr. Kulp, next week’s “RIVALRY!!” is Flyers-Hawks, and Chicago is a western conference team we play as rarely as any opponent out there. Their only extended matchup ever was the SCF series three years ago and very few guys are still around from that.

        Hey don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care. And Marvin’s points above are well taken as well, we’re all glad it was a good game. It just seems kinda hokey that they’re selling these as “hopeful someday rivalries” when actual rivalries already exist everywhere. It’s simply not a rivalry…If you call a tadpole a frog, it’s still a tadpole. (My what a great example that was)

      • Andrew Kulp - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Yeah, I was aware of next week’s game against Chicago. I suppose the line of thinking with that is they met in the Finals recently, although the Flyers obviously have very few players leftover from that run. I agree it’s flimsy. The truth is there just aren’t that many games scheduled on Wednesdays, so the options are slim.

        I agree though and said the same thing myself that maybe they should just go with a different name then, but in the long run I don’t know if it really matters what it’s called.

      • BenE. - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:28 PM

        In my opinion, there is no line of thinking. The decision stops and ends with ratings.

        Pittsburgh-Washington is still not a rivalry, even after 8 years promoting it as such. Philly-Detroit is not a rivalry and, as long as the Red Wings are a bunch of soft Euros, it never will be. Philly-Chicago is not a rivalry. They are just two huge cities with well-supported hockey teams.

        Last month, NBCSN aired a Penguins game on four straight Wednesdays as their “Rivalry Night.” It didn’t matter who they were playing. All that mattered is it was the Penguins. After that, NBCSN aired Boston-Detroit as their rivalry game. That hasn’t been a rivalry in 50 years. Montreal played Buffalo the same night, which IS a rivalry, but was overlooked because one city is in Canada and the other city is small.

        It comes down to ratings, and nothing else.

      • BenE. - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        Not to mention the disgusting and blatant hypocrisy of NBCSN promoting all of these “rivalry games” with montages of hits and fights and all the exciting stuff that makes rivalries. Meanwhile, their vanilla experts like Pierre McGuire, Mike Milbury, and Keith Jones toe the NHL company line and cry about every open ice hit and face wash — all of the things that MAKE rivalries. God forbid a fight breaks out on national TV. Don’t want to offend Pierre and his book circle while putting all the hardcore fans like me to sleep with their lame matchups and lamer broadcasters.

      • Marvin Monroe - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:16 PM

        It’s not even about building rivalries, it’s about advertising rivalries. If you are a casual hockey fan and see a commercial for a Rivalry Game, you are more likely to tune into the game. Or keep it on if you are flipping stations.

        I’m probably the only person who these boards who follows Japanese baseball. But if I tell you that Hanshin – Yomiuri is a huge rivalry, you are more likely to watch it. You have no idea if it’s a big rivalry game or not. Those are the fans they are going for.

      • BenE. - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        Which is the problem with the NHL, Marvin. Good post, though. I don’t disagree with ya.

      • Andrew Kulp - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:42 PM

        With all due respect, Ben, how is what Marvin just described “the problem with the NHL?” They’re trying to generate interest in the sport, so maybe they fudge a few rivalries, but I don’t really see how it’s “the problem with the NHL” or even a problem at all. Nobody is getting hurt here. They’re putting hockey games on television that they think people will want to watch, and you’re getting all worked up over what they named the broadcast.

        Is the name appropriate? Maybe, maybe not, but in the long run it’s a completely pointless debate. Changing the name wouldn’t have any impact on you at all.

      • BenE. - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:56 PM

        Kulp, the problem, in my opinion, is that they are catering too much to the fringe fans who obviously don’t care enough about the sport to begin with. They give the Pittsburgh Penguins a month of “rivalry games” instead of a mixed bag that better represents the sport. These days, the NHL is all hype with very little animosity to back it up. Then when there IS a little bit of emotion, Pierre and Eddie cry about it to make sure “all you young hockey players out there” know it’s wrong when you don’t play nice with your opponent. Then Mike Milbury (probably the last person who should be analyzing hockey after running two franchises into the ground) chimes in with his PC BS. The hypocrisy of NBCSN, and the NHL, is astounding.

        The overall point I was making earlier, to 2sentz’s point, is that the NHL and NBCSN don’t care about rivalries. It’s all about ratings to them. Which is what every league wants. But longtime fans like me see right through the facade of this rivalry nonsense

      • MJS - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:40 AM

        Ben, I completely agree with what you’re saying regarding the hypocrisy of the broadcast and how they prefer a nice “clean” game. The “rivalry” piece is all just part of sales. The Pens and the Flyers are probably the two most hated teams in the NHL (for completely different reasons) so the NHL can throw that rivalry name into almost any game they’re in and it somewhat works. FWIW, back in 08-09, the Caps considered the Flyers their biggest rival (based on a poll by their fans…the Pens were a close 2nd) and they probably weren’t even on our top 5 “rivals” list at the time, so it’s hard to judge how the other team consider us (not saying the Wings or Blackhawks consider us rivals by any means…just a different perspective)

      • Marvin Monroe - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:57 AM

        Ben, do yourself an experiment this weekend. Watch NBCSN’s coverage of the English Premier League on Saturday and Sunday morning. I assume you don’t follow soccer. Watch the commercials they run. And it’s soccer, so the commercials are every 45 minutes. They are marketing toward people who don’t follow much soccer. It’s the same approach they use for hockey. It’s an impressive machine.

        They use the same approach as they do for NHL. Every match seems to be a huge rivalry. And when they do have a real rivalry coming, it goes into overdrive. They ran constant promos for the Merseyside a few weeks ago- Liverpool vs. Everton. By the end of the morning, they will have you foaming at the mouth for Man City- Arsenal next weekend.

        They also ran the Jason Sudekis advertisement which made it completely apparent they were welcoming people who knew nothing about soccer.

        During the pregame, postgame and intermission, they do a good job of breaking down plays for people that don’t follow soccer. It will make you feel like you have a better understanding of the game. They do the same thing for hockey. They also run VH1 style infotainment shows about the Premiership throughout the week for new fans. And just remember, NBCSN is getting better ratings for soccer on Saturday mornings than hockey on Wednesday nights.

        The main goal of the NHL is not to provide top flight entertaining hockey. The main goal of the NHL is to separate your money from you and place it in their bank accounts. If they can provide some good games while they do it, that’s a bonus.

      • willh888 - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        “The main goal of the NHL is not to provide top flight entertaining hockey”

        Scary thought.

        Speaking about the soccer commercials.. that really only gets people to youtube ‘Ted Lasso’ and laugh at the various clips of a traditional football lovin’ Merican fumble over the rules of Soccer (futbol!). At no point do 99% of the Ted Lasso viewers sit back and say hey, wait till I tell my wife what I’m doing sunday morning, right before I watch football all day and night. Don’t get me wrong, Soccer itself isn’t under fire, I understand it’s a passionate game, but cheap tricks won’t get an entire generation interested in soccer (or hockey). Just flippin up “RIVARLLLLAAAAYZ” on the NBC screen doesn’t impress casual viewers. If they don’t know enough to understand Philly Detroit isn’t a rivalry, why would they sit down to watch an entire game? Hockey is by far one of the most entertaining sports to watch for fans like me who like just about everything. There’s a reason hockey is the lowest rated major sport in America. Some of the reasons are obvious (cost, demographic/geography, etc.) and other reasons start with over-expansion, not to mention jumping a major sports network in favor of the ol’ verses! ESPN now covers LeBron’s sneaker choice (really) over a triple OT playoff triller in May. We all know this though.. by now im just rambling so I just wanted to say some companies try to make their products interesting through marketing, and others market their interesting product. NHL is stuck in the middle.

      • BenE. - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        MJS, thanks. I remember the Caps survey, too. I got a kick out of that. They were hardly a blip on our rivalry radar. Well, until Ray Emery messed that up. Haha.

        Marvin, another good post, but you’re circling around my point: the NHL and NBCSN don’t care about the quality of the game they are showing on Wednesday night. They only care about getting a lot of people to watch. Again, I know that’s the goal of every sports league. But NBCSN does it at a price of watering down their product. From the matchups, to post-game shows, and everything in between. They flaunt rivalries then the only thing the broadcasters talk about when a scrum happens is “uh oh that should be a penalty, I wonder who is getting a power play out of this, don’t retaliate.” Seriously, for a guy who has the best seat in the house, Pierre McGuire brings literally nothing to the broadcast. At least Steve Coates, as spastic as he is and probably unfit for national TV, gets excited for the rough stuff and reports on things like trash talking between the benches. That’s how you promote rivalries. The viewer at home thinks, “damn, these teams really do dislike each other.” But instead of a guy like that, NBCSN gets Pierre “Better be careful!” McGuire.

        It’s all anecdotal, but watch NHL Network’s simulcast of HNIC on Saturday nights. CBC expects you to know about the game, and the difference in the presentation and broadcast is night and day. It has more energy and feeds off the game, which gets you even more into the game. They’re not worried about being PC and hoping dads who tie sweaters around their shoulders finish watching and say “that was nice.” They call big plays and fights with excitement as opposed to lamenting about penalties and suspensions. They know they have Canada’s biggest national spotlight, and they feed off it accordingly. They don’t put up this facade about how bad a little animosity is, while you hear the crowd going crazy in the background.

        As far as the EPL coverage goes, I think that furthers my point that NBCSN dumb downs and neatly packages their sports coverage. If I was a hardcore soccer fan, their broadcasts would probably annoy me. Like Chris Wheeler explaining double play depth every time the infield shifts that way. Nothing turns me off from a broadcast more than whiny announcers

      • BenE. - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        Will H. your last sentence sums it up perfectly.

      • Marvin Monroe - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        @ Will H

        The Ted Lasso commercial was genius because it told people “It’s ok if you don’t know anything about soccer, you can still watch the games this weekend.” And they are not looking for a guy to set aside 2 hours to watch a game on Sunday morning. They are looking for the guy who is awake early in the morning with his kid and feels like watching live sports instead of Sportscenter.

        Sportscenter is just a 60 minute advertisement for what is on ESPN/ABC tonight/tomorrow. And why you are a dickbag for missing what was on ESPN/ABC last night. Go read the Bristolmetrics columns at Deadspin.

        NBC is doing a good job of manipulating their coverage of the EPL, but not affecting gameplay at all. They do this with Sunday Night Football too. That is an incredibly well-oiled machine. Offering every single EPL game online for free is also amazing. I’d love to see that for the NHL. The NHL is changing game to grab more viewers and we end up with gimmicks like the Metropolitan Division and shoot-outs, which actually affect game play. The incredible loyalty of hockey fans hurts the NHL. They know you are still watching the game no matter what they do to it. So they can make these stupid changes and they will still have the audience. That’s why the owners were comfortable with the lock out last year and 2005.

        Besides you need to learn the joy of hitting the bar at 9:30 a.m. for a soccer game. The previous 2 Eagles seasons were much more enjoyable when I was drunk before kick-off and sound asleep by halftime.

  7. psudrozz - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    i still love hartnell. there, i said it.

  8. psudrozz - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    coots got a face so ugly only a flyers fan could love it.


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