Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier, who has not played in either of the team’s last two games, will return tonight against the San Jose Sharks, according to Kevin Kurz of The Athletic. It will be an important reinforcement for the Flyers who are currently on a 1-4-0 stretch in their last five games.
After missing the entire 2022-23 regular season due to injury, Couturier has picked up right where he left off in Philadelphia. In 10 games played up to this point, he has scored two goals and six assists, tied for fifth on the team in scoring. Still maintaining a positive faceoff percentage, as well as solid possession numbers, Couturier is still a player the Flyers can trust with heavy usage.
Unfortunately, when one player returns from injury, another player must exit the lineup, and Kurz also reports that Morgan Frost will be a healthy scratch for the game tonight. Trying desperately to earn more minutes for Philadelphia, Frost has played in six games so far, scoring zero points after averaging over 15 minutes of ice time per night.
- Max Miller of The Hockey News reports there is still no timeline for the return of Sharks winger, Alexander Barabanov, but he is progressing nicely from injury. Barbanov has been out of the lineup with a finger injury since the team’s game against the Florida Panthers on October 24th. After finishing fifth on the team in scoring last season, Barabanov is one of six members of San Jose’s forward core that has not scored a point yet this year.
- As he is rehabbing his way back from injury, Vegas Golden Knights’ defenseman, Zach Whitecloud, was practicing with the team today in a non-contact jersey (X Link). Other notable pieces missing from today’s practice were Nicolas Roy, Nicolas Hague, Alec Martinez, and Chandler Stephenson. For the last three mentioned, it is likely that they were merely taking maintenance days, as no injury concern was alluded to in the report.
- Back to the Sharks, Max Miller also mentioned that Mike Hoffman and Nikolai Knyzhov were late additions to today’s practice, meaning they may be out of the lineup tonight against the Flyers. Both players were present during the team’s blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.