Couturier preps to avoid sophomore slump
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08-26-2012, 01:11 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Originally Posted by
I beg to differ. I think Couturier has just as much raw offensive ability as Seguin does. You mention all these other guys when comparing Couturier (Hanzal, Sutter, Gagner), but Couturier has a track record of being good offensively. Hanzal only averaged more than a point per game in CHL junior season and that was done when he was 19 - 20 years old. Gagner only played one season in the OHL - the highest scoring league in all of junior hockey (I still think Edmonton ruined his development, but that's another story) and Sutter has never been a point per game player anywhere he's been.
Couturier's hockey sense, when compared to those guys, is another planet. You can't compare Couturier to those guys. As for comparing him to Bergeron or Kesler or Richards, Sean put up similar numbers while playing considerably less than those three did in their rookie years. On top of it, Couturier played the toughest minutes out of all those guys and did so while playing the most demanding role - shut down center. That is an INCREDIBLY tough position to play and for a 19 year old to do and do it in such an impressive fashion, that's what makes everyone think he's right up there with Giroux.
On top of it, we saw a sampling of his offensive ability last year. He's got an excellent shot and he managed to get a career year out of Maxim Talbot. Just wait until Couturier gets top notch linemates who can finish off his passes or who can pass to him. A lot of the offense that Couturier generated last year was done practically by himself.
The guy is a Ron Francis clone. And if you ask Lemieux, Jagr, Recchi, Stevens, Tocchet, Barasso, etc.....all those guys from the Pittsburgh championships, they'll tell you that Francis was the most important player during those championship wins. Couturier plays so much like Francis, it's going to be scary once he fills out that 6'3 frame and he gets better linemates. And yes, he probably will replace Giroux as the top center and Giroux will probably move to the wing to accommodate that move.
Yes, very excited about Couturier because he has the skill and he'll be given the opportunity to put up fantastic numbers. You're talking about a high end center who can beat you in so many ways. There's no forward on the team right now that is his defensive equal. Once he's given the opportunity to play more on the offensive side, the man is going to be a killer. All the folks in Edmonton can have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. I'll take Couturier any day of the week and it's not close.
This is exactly what PayItForward is talking about. I'm a fan of another team, and I'm not trolling here so please don't accuse me of that, but Couturier doesn't have the offensive ability of a guy like Seguin or Nugent Hopkins. Not close. Those guys are dynamic offensively. Seguin uses speed and a bullet shot to beat the goalie. Nuge uses slick Datsyukian moves and amazing vision. Couturier doesn't have that kind of arsenal. He just doesn't. I've seen him play a ton in junior and last season with Philly, and yes, Bergeron is about his upside I'd say. He is not Francis, he is not going to be better than RNH either. One guy says he's Francis, now that's all you hear...
I don't think other people care if you overrate him, I think you shouldn't overrate him for the sake of your own fanbase, so as to not be disappointed in the end. Let him be who he is, a defensive specialist who may chip in offensively down the road. He'll never fill out that 6'3 frame as you wish, as he doesn't have the body for it. He'll never become the top centre down the line, especially with Giroux there (but he doesn't have #1 centre skill in the first place). Like really, it's night and day comparing Giroux's skill to Couturier. The Q is the highest scoring league by the way, and that's why SC was able to dominate it, because of his height and puck control, mainly.
Hanazal is a great comparison, or a Frans Nielsen, or Bergeron as stated above. Jordan Staal is basically his highest upside along with Bergeron.
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