The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that Sean Couturier would be out for the next four weeks with a lower-body injury, which was reported by TVA Sports last night to be a re-injuring of his knee. The injury occurred on August 10th, and Couturier will be limited during the start of training camp for the Flyers, but if everything goes right should be ready for the start of the season.
Couturier, 25, is coming off his best season as a professional and one in which he jumped from solid role player to elite two-way center. With Claude Giroux’s move to the wing in Philadelphia, Couturier was given the first line center role and ran with it, scoring 31 goals and 76 points while logging nearly 22 minutes a night. He finished second in Selke Trophy voting as one of the league’s best defensive forwards, and was recently ranked one of the top-20 centers in the entire league by the NHL Network and here on PHR.
In the postseason, Couturier collided with Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas in practice and injured the MCL in his knee forcing him to miss the fourth game of their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Incredibly, Couturier was able to return for the fifth and sixth games of the series, recording a five-point game in a series-losing effort in game six. That kind of production is what the Flyers hope to get from Couturier this season, and will likely play it slow to make sure that he’s fully ready for the start of the regular season. With the team expected to once again compete for a playoff spot, they’ll need their star center in the lineup for as many games as possible.