Sean Couturier wanted to prove to his critics that the 2017-18 season was no fluke. Well, Coots did just that. He was nothing short of phenomenal for the orange and black in 2018-19. For the season, Couturier registered 33 goals, 43 assists, and was a plus 2. He rebounded nicely from re-injuring his knee in the offseason, from a hit that he sustained from his former teammate Radko Gudas, during the 2018 NHL playoffs. If people thought the past two years were good for Coots, think again, we haven’t seen anything yet.
The two-time Selke candidate takes great pride in his game. He wants to win regardless of the games are meaningless or not. “I think everyone has pride in here,” Couturier told me towards the end of last season, “We want to win games. It’s a lot more fun to win. Whatever happens here down the stretch we need to finish strong and build something here. Just push in the same direction.”
The 26-year-old standout has proved to the entire league that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Coots was the heart and soul of this young Flyers team all season long last season. There was no doubt he was the MVP of the team. When Couturier’s name was called for the team MVP award last year, there was plenty of orange-clad fans roaring Coooooooooooots, to go along with the Let’s Go Flyers chants.
Couturier will have another monster season in 2019-20, and he will crack the 80 point plateau. Rightfully, Couturier will be nominated for the Selke Trophy, given to the best defensive forward, for his efforts once again. However, one question still remains. Just how good will Coots be?
Couturier will tally 83 points (35g, 48a), as a first-line center this coming season. While forming a line with Giroux, and Travis Konecny, presumably. He will have another strong season. The difference of this coming season, as compared to other seasons, is Couturier will finally evolve into the leader this young team has craved for the past few seasons.
The Flyers locker room has needed that voice for the past few seasons. Sean Couturier is a player that younger players look up to, and he will be the new voice of the Flyers. If Couturier has a bad game he owns it. Moreover, that is something that will sit well with the new Head Coach Alain Vigneault. Coots holds himself to a high standard, and also holds himself accountable when need be.
Accountability is a strong word that will be used this season for the Flyers. Couturier is no stranger to holding himself accountable, and that rubs off on other players. Former Flyers Interim Head Coach Scott Gordon spoke very highly of Coots last season, “He’s a 200-foot player. He’s valuable because of the fact he can produce, and mostly at the same time play against the other teams top line and be effective, kill penalties, plays on the power-play wins faceoffs. I mean there’s not much more you can ask for.”
Sean Couturier prides himself on being outstanding defensively but wants to showcase his offensive skills, as well. He has really taken his game to another level these past few years, and it has given Couturier a ton of confidence. This coming season will be no different for the new leader in Couturier, and finally, another star has been born in Philadelphia. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports