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Sean Couturier


Guest toughbrotherlylove
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Wanted to start off by saying sorry for the long absence with posts. With summer being here and Flyers not playing, work and vacations posting is hard to come by.

I decided to make this next post about, in my mind, the most impressive rookie in the orange and black this season, number 14 Sean Couturier. I admit when the Flyers decided to keep him up in the NHL after his allotted games were completed, I was a little nervous. Couturier showed amazing promise, especially with his time in the Q, but I was nervous for two main reasons. First reason was his role on the team. A kid with that much talent, I felt, should not be subject to a 4th line role seeing scarce minutes. Thus I thought it would have been better for his development to play one more season in the Q to refine his skill set and give him a proper workload. I did however understand that it would be a “man playing among boys” and probably would not be much of a challenge for Sean back in the Q. However on the reverse side, how I stated previously, it might be too big of a jump to play in the NHL and hinder his development with low minutes.

I had the pleasure to watch Couturier in action when the Flyers prospects played the Capitals prospects down at the Wells Fargo Center. You could see his potential with every shift, but also could see there is a lot of work to be done in his development. I paid close attention to him throughout preseason and early on in the regular season, one of his glaring weaknesses was his strength. Watching highlights/games of him in the Q you could tell a big part of his game was protecting the puck while being hard to knock off the puck and then making plays from there. Only being 18 years old (at the time) I did not expect him to come in at the NHL and be a powerhouse on the puck but you could easily see his was not where he needed to be physically. Early on you could see Couturier getting bodied off the puck easily an unable to shield off defending players simply because of their maturity and strength compared to his.

Whelp I had my foot shoved in my mouth by the end of the season. The amount of progress in this young players game was phenomenal. You could tell very much Couturier gained strength throughout the season and was more of an animal along the boards. Every time he ended a shift it always left me saying, “how is this kid doing all this at 19 years of age?” Now while Couturier did not put up flashy numbers or make crazy highlight reel plays, he still put up respectable numbers for a 19 year old (13G, 14A, and a +18) while also being the teams best defensive forward. Now I know Matt Read was crazy good this year as well (as a rookie), but the amount of improvement and poise that Sean Couturier had as the season progressed really impressed me, and is why he is in my mind the Flyers most impressive rookie. Also I have recognize his face offs. There were only 5 other rookie centers in the league with better face off percentage then Couturier and four of them took at least 400 less face offs. Couturier operated at 47% while attempting 804 face offs this season.

Looking forward to the upcoming 2012-2013 season (hopefully), I would love to see Couturier move away from a strict defensive role and be more involved with the offense. We are talking about a kid who at age 17 and 18 put up back-to-back 96-point seasons in the Q. This kid can be an offensive beast, and he will be in the NHL at some point. I truly believe throughout the offseason Couturier will work his rear end off to become stronger and faster. He is too much of a smart, respectable and modest player not to. As far as I am concerned after Giroux, Couturier is the next name on the “Do not touch list” (meaning trade). The Flyers would be doing Sean, the team and the city of Philadelphia a disservice if they did not tap into the offensive potential of this kid.

Other notes:

Keep voting for Giroux to put him on the cover of NHL13, 24 hours left for voting! Lets get a Flyer on the cover!

Follow me on twitter: @EbbonDerr

And as always check into my blog site: www.toughbrotherlylove.squarespace.com

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any cover is the SI curse so stay away from covers G!

Lol I thought about that too, but I believe it is only a madden cover curse. The last 3 years of NHL cover athletes were Patrick Kane(zee hockey player, sorry I had to), Johnathan Towes, and Steven Stamkos. I don't have to remind any Flyers fan of what Kane did to the Flyers in the SCF the year he was on the cover. Towes set a career high in points when he was on the cover the following year. And this year Stamkos scored 60 goals. So we'll see but if G gets the cover history says he'll have a big year somehow, hopefully it is a ovetime game winner of the SCF.

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Good post. I think that with Couterier the Flyers will want to thank Jeff Carter every time they see him. He is going to be an excellent pro and it was a joy to see him play this season. His composure and hockey sense is that of a 10 year veteran and the experience he gained this season will only make him a better player long term. I do hope that he gets some more ice time and moves up to the third line where some of his offensive skills might be showcased.

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cooter had probably the most impressive rookie season i've seen, outside of gretzky and that whiner crysby. he didn't have the flash and point totals necessary for the BS populari-- rookie of the year award, but he had the most complete game of all the rookies.

his development over the year was nothing short of astonishing to me. he's a real special player and will make that carter trade a steal 5x's over by the end of things.

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his development over the year was nothing short of astonishing to me. he's a real special player and will make that carter trade a steal 5x's over by the end of things.

Which should not really be THAT surprising, giving the resume he came in with. This, however, does not negate the fact that he *is* a very special player. If the stars align right for him - and I hate predicting at a risk of jinxing - I don't see the reason why he can't approach Datsyuk's level. And I actually think he is better.....

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@maddog

that's a pretty high ceiling, i don't know if he has the quickness of datsuyk, couts isn't slow but he doesn't have that burst that datsuyk has.

couts is already a wizard with the timber though, i'm thinking, if the stars align for him and he stays healthy, he'll be the guy others get compared to though.

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@Mad Dog Sean reminds me of a young Joe Thornton. I think Couts has a much better shot, will take the puck to the net harder...but vision and size wise...I think big Joe is a favourable comparision. The big difference being, he is learning (and by all accounts much better at it) the defenseive side of the equation much earlier than Joe. We could be looking at a defensively responable 80+ center....very exciting. I think he has a God given release that puts him in the top 5% of NHL players....kind of reminds me of Mike Bossy's release.....deadly quick and accurate. The goals will come, and when they start, they will come in bunches....having said that, he will get the majority of his points off assists.

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@doom88 Carter might have the worst hockey sense of any top scoring forward in the NHL. How can you miss high and wide literally hundreds of times and still go back to the same shot, time after time after time. Never learnt how to properly utilize his linemates, hardly ever swithced it up with his shot...let a slap shot go every once and a while. How about a back hand after faking the wrister....nope, he refused to grow as a player. He was selfish in that regard IMHO....as long as Jeff got his stats, it was all good. I thought he would eventually click in and become a force to be reckoned with. He will never realize his full potential because he's ok with the same old....30+ goals and 30+ assists. This guy has the raw talent to become a 50+ season...but he does just enough to not be accused of dogging it. Should have put this rant in the Carter hatred thread...lol.

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Sean reminds me of a young Joe Thornton. I think Couts has a much better shot, will take the puck to the net harder...but vision and size wise...I think big Joe is a favourable comparision.

Hey @jammer2, how's the summer going so far?

I don't really like the Thornton comparison because I think Cooter wants to be way more involved physically Big Joe hasn't always used his size to his advantage and sometimes avoids traffic areas. In short, he plays soft. I don't see that with Sean.

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Summer is going great Pods, thanks for asking. With regards to Joe and Sean, I agree Sean has a physical element to his game that Joe just does not have. Sean will never be mistaken for a soft player, a tag Joe has been hit with frequetntly. I do see other similarities....the vision, the size, although I project Sean to be more a finisher than Joe. Joe looks to pass first and foremost. I did say Sean takes it to the net harder than Joe, which is a roundabout way of stating he is more physical. Maybe Joe Nieuwendyk is a closer comparision?

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@jammer2

I see your point about taking the puck to the net now, and totally agree with the vision and passing thing. Cooter can't skate like Nieuwendyk could but there are other aspects sure. Did Cooter ever play lacrosse? I know Nieuwendyk did and I think Thornton did too.

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@Podein25 I do think Sean's skating will improve 5 or 10% going forward. I'm pretty sure he's still growing into his frame....which *should* mean more dexterity and speed could be on the horizen. Don't think he'll ever be considered fast, but, with Sean, what you see is not what you are really going to get skating wise. I'd be shocked if he did not improve going forward, espcially given his work ethic.

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@jammer2

I was really impressed with his toughness and willingness to be physical as a 19 year old in the NHL towards the end of the season and the playoffs. The way he handled Malkin and got in his head was brilliant. How many players can do that at all let alone as a teenager?

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@jammer2

Yeah, absolutely his skating will improve for the reasons you state: he will grow into his body and he will train intensively to improve his foot speed and all that fast-twitch muscle stuff.

Then he becomes lethal

Edited by Podein25
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