Flyers center disappointed by recent events – NBC Sports Philadelphia

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By journalsofus.com


Voorhees, NJ – The Flyers have given up 5.25 goals per game over their last four games and will face the NHL’s most prolific goal scorer on Tuesday night in the heat of the playoff race.

John Tortorella has decided to tackle Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs without Sean Couturier.

Without the player with a “C” on his jersey and the 2019-20 Selke Trophy on his resume.

Couturier would be a healthy scratch.

Head coach Tortorella, a veteran of a Stanley Cup ring, has pressed a lot of the right buttons this season. But undoubtedly, this is one of his boldest decisions in two seasons with the Flyers.

Couturier, no matter how competitive he is, nothing comes easy to me, was clearly disappointed after the morning skate on Tuesday.

“It’s hard,” he said. “I think I’ve been working on it for a while, I know I’ve been struggling, trying to work on my game. I think the way I’ve been treated lately I’m definitely disappointed with that. It is what it is.”

Amid the struggles, the 31-year-old has seen a drop in the lineup since mid-February. His minutes were cut significantly. After missing nearly 22 months due to two back surgeries, Couturier began the season healthy and as the Flyers’ first-line center. He performed and was used despite the long layoff.

Recently, Couturier’s game has improved. As the Flyers surrendered goals in the respective clip, Couturier recorded one assist, won 26 of his 40 faceoffs (65 percent) and only had a minus-1 rating.

Could it now be time to rely on a guy highly regarded for his defensive track record to get more minutes?

“I think there’s a lot of guys, him being one of them, who need to get better,” Tortorella said after practice Monday.

As the Flyers host Toronto (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), Couturier will watch alongside Cam Atkinson, Denis Gurianov and Marc Staal.

“I got the same answers as you guys, just needed to see more,” Couturier said. “I’m still trying to figure out what that is. I’m trying every game, it’s not like I’m just sitting there or not thinking about anything. I’ve spent the last few games with limited ice time. Or felt with the opportunities I’m getting, I’m doing everything right. But I think we’re going to go in with the best lineup available tonight to get the win, so it is what it is.”

“Honestly, it doesn’t matter what I think. I guess I have to leave my ego aside. Hopefully the team finds a way to win here tonight and I’ll be back in it soon.” I can.”

Couturier played a season-low 11:10 minutes in the Flyers’ 6-5 loss to the Bruins last Saturday. He has played less than 13 minutes four times in his last 14 games. In his last six seasons, he had never played less than 13 minutes in a full game.

Are the reduced minutes a way to keep track of the couturier’s workload or is it entirely performance related?

“I think it’s a big question for Torts and how Torts manages his minutes,” assistant coach Rocky Thompson said Tuesday. “I can’t get into the head of our head coach like that. I think Coots has done a good job, he works very hard in practice and he’s trying to improve himself without a doubt. “

In late February, Tortorella stated that reducing Couturier’s usage was not for the purpose of managing his minutes.

Suffice it to say that benching at this time of year will test a competitor like Couturier, who has been a flyer since the age of 18.

“I control what I can control, it is what it is,” he said. “We move on.”

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