Better With Popcorn

Injury Update on Sean Couturier

When it rains in Philadelphia, it pours.

At least that’s the way the 2011-12 season has seemed for Philadelphia Flyers fans.

Coming into Saturday afternoon’s matinee match-up against the Boston Bruins, the Flyers had already lost a combined total of 100 man-games due to injury or illness.

Following an embarrassing 6-0 loss to the Bruins, it appears as though the number will only continue to grow in the coming weeks.

Rookie forward, Sean Couturier was struck in the side of the head with a shot from the point during one of the Flyers power play opportunities at the end of the first period.

He did not return to the game.

Following the game, general manager Paul Holmgren gave an update on the rookie’s status.

“He's at the hospital being evaluated,” he said. “Fortunately, [the puck] hit him in the helmet, but we thought it was best to just get him to the hospital and get checked.”

Holmgren added that Couturier never lost consciousness and that his performance on the baseline tests were exactly the same as they were in training camp. Of course, we heard that with other players in the past.

The GM stated that the reason Couturier was sent to the hospital was to look for internal damage and/or damage to the skull. He will not be traveling with the team on their two-game western road-trip and their is no time-table for his return.

Following the game, head coach Peter Laviolette was not concerned about Couturier's return;  he was far more worried about his exit.

“You see something like that happen to anybody and your heart stops for a second and feel that feeling in the pit of your stomach,” head coach Peter Laviolette said after the game. “We hope that he is okay and it’s nothing too serious.”

While Couturier’s health is priority number one, it’s difficult not to question what effect his absence will have on the line-up.

Although he is young, Couturier has proven to be one of the Flyers most responsible players. He has spent a large amount of time on the penalty kill this season, averaging just over three minutes a game. He is second only to Max Talbot for most short-handed minutes among Flyers forwards.

As if his abilities on special teams weren’t enough, Couturier has proven to be a versatile centermen who has spent time on almost every line. With Giroux out of the lineup, Couturier had moved up to the first line to center Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr over the last two games.

Now the team will have to find someone else to fill the role.   

At the time of this release, Holmgren was still contemplating what he was going to do.

“I don't know, I gotta count up the guys we got here,” he said. “We do have some flexibility, Matt Read could play center...and obviously Schenn and Giroux are probably not options here for the near future, so, I'm not sure, we'll have to talk about that.”

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