Couturier is relieved to finally score a goal

The Flyers' Sean Couturier, a top defensive center, had gone 25 games without a goal before Tuesday.
The Flyers' Sean Couturier, a top defensive center, had gone 25 games without a goal before Tuesday. (YONG KIM / Staff)
Posted: November 22, 2013

Third-year center Sean Couturier is known as a solid two-way player, but for the longest time, he was having trouble finding one of those ways.

During a 5-2 Flyers win over the visiting Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, Couturier scored his first goal of the season, ending a 25-game scoreless streak. His last goal had come April 15 against Montreal.

Couturier is among the top defensive players on the Flyers. In the plus/minus category, he leads the forwards at plus-2. Only defenseman Kimmo Timonen (plus-3) has a better rating.

Couturier adeptly kills penalties and frequently is on the checking line against top offensive players.

Although he understands his value to the team, he admitted to being relieved that he finally ended the drought.

"Maybe sometimes you think too much, you tie up your stick and hold it tighter," Couturier said after Wednesday's practice at the Skate Zone. "When you get one of those bounces, the pressure comes off and it feels better."

Couturier, the eighth overall selection in the 2011 NHL draft, needed a morale booster.

"It's definitely good for the confidence," said Couturier, who will turn 21 on Dec. 7.

He pointed out something that his teammates and the coaching staff have been saying all along.

"I haven't been playing bad," Couturier said. "It's a question of putting pucks in the net, and hopefully I will build on that."

Goalie Steve Mason said he admires the role Couturier plays on the team, one that Mason says is less than glamorous.

"It's a very important role on our team, and he shuts down the other team's top players and does a great job at that," Mason said. "He is able to get in their heads and frustrate them, and it's something you can't put enough stock into."

Couturier missed a wide-open net in the first period before finally scoring in the second.

"A lot of guys have had a rough start to the year, and Coots is one of them who was looking for his first goal," Mason said. "And to finally get that first one out of the way, I think he will start feeling better about himself, and it's great to see."

Notes

The Flyers (8-10-2) are 4-0-1 in their last five games and entered Tuesday just two points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Flyers will host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday; the New York Islanders will visit on Saturday. . . . Adam Hall's empty-net goal against Ottawa snapped a 64-game scoreless streak. He also won 11 of 13 faceoffs. . . . Since a 7-0 home loss to Washington on Nov. 1, the Flyers are 5-1-2.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|