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Couturier replaces Giroux on Flyers' top line


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Rookie center Sean Couturier will replace Claude Giroux on the Flyers' top line Tuesday in Washington.

Giroux, the league's leading scorer, continues to make progress from his head injury, but will not make the trip, GM Paul Holmgren said. The center was injured when teammate Wayne Simmonds inadvertently kneed him in the back of the head on Saturday against Tampa Bay.

Giroux was scheduled to visit a doctor on Monday morning, but the Flyers did not release the results of any testing. Holmgren said Giroux would also see a doctor on Tuesday.

Couturier, who usually centers the fourth line, played most of the third period Saturday between Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell. He will center that line Tuesday.

Giroux is also expected to miss Thursday's game in Montreal.

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Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inqflyersreport/Couturier-replaces-Giroux-on-Flyers-top-line.html

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While it sucks for Giroux, it is an opportunity to see how Couts plays with some scoring wingers. It is an adjustment for all as Giroux and Cout's styles are totally different. I would have rather seen Briere move up as he more like Giroux and see Couts center wingers who are more grinders and good along the wall.

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Man, how freakin' AWESOME must it be for Couturier! Imagine yourself as an 18 year old kid playing with a 2-time Cup champion and guaranteed hall of famer. That's usually the stuff you dream about as a kid and what gives you the drive to play hockey in the first place.

Couturier seems pretty level headed, and I'm sure he won't show any emotion, but inside, he must be smiling from ear to ear.

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He is a big suprise for everyone that at his 18/19 year old. He did amazing job so far with some mistakes but Flyers has a good future with guys like Giroux, Couturier, Shenn and more important they didn't miss a playoff during that time, so all trades were ok or above ok. Because some teams did miss 2-3 years of playoff hockey while their youth get ready, but may be will never ready it's a gamble.

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This is a dream scenario for Couturier and he will not disappoint. He acquitted himself rather well in the Tampa game, and I imagine it will only continue. All the hard work of playing on a 4th line is going to pay off for him on a top line with Jagr and Hartnell.

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Cooter will make the most of his chance, I'm sure.

But if it's not working for some reason, I wouldn't mind if Lavvy put Read up there for a bit. He can play center (is a "natural" center) and is closer to being "like Giroux" than anyone else in terms of speed, play making and is RH.

It would be a good fit.

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While I hate to see Giroux hurt, how nice is it to be "arguing" whether Read or Couturier is the better fit on the top line on the merits of the two players, not based on their failings? I think either would be fine up on the top line.

I'm also fine with keeping Briere where he is. In a situation like this, I'd rather juggle the first and 3rd or 4th line, than the first and 2nd, if you can get away with it talent wise.

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