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10-12-2013, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PropJoe View Post
Let me preface this by saying I missed the game tonight and am planning on watching the replay right now but I really don't understand why some people are criticizing Couturier this season. I'm one of his biggest skeptics and I think he's been quite good even offensively this season. Maybe he just looks good because no one else on the team is creating chances but his possession skills in the offensive zone have looked great.

I don't get why people come into this thread to complain about Couturier and Schenn when they're out scoring both of our leading scorers from last season. Sure they're not putting up huge numbers but the entire team only has 6 goals.
Well, let me preface this by saying I've been massively supportive of Couturier for the past two seasons and still consider myself a big Couturier supporter.

However, I've seen absolutely no growth in Couturier's offensive game in his two years as a Flyer, and I actually see regression in his game in the five games we've seen this season (but apparently that's just me...). I've always given him the benefit of the doubt because he was used in the most difficult of situations, but his issues are becoming more and more frustrating to watch at this point. He hates handling the puck. For whatever reason, he never seems to be interested in doing what it takes to make a play with it. His composure is nonexistent. He reads the play so damn well, but for whatever reason, his ability to read other players disappears when the puck finds its way on his stick. He just wants to pawn the puck off to someone else rather than make a play himself, and he's more interested in not turning it over than he is in actually making something happen with it.

Perhaps I was too critical in calling it a compete issue earlier. But he certainly doesn't have the killer instinct (yet) that I expect a promising player to have. He's essentially the anti-Radulov. He's too safe and cautious, and while that is absolutely a great quality to have in the D zone, it is also a curse for generating offense on the other half of the ice. Maybe it is all just confidence (which is certainly a part of it), but I think confidence and competitiveness are at least related on some level, and I am disappointed that Couturier has not been able to add another dimension to his game by developing that killer instinct. I have chalked it up to linemates and situational ice time in the past, but (based on this small sample size this season) I think there is a deeper issue.

I truly wouldn't mind lighting a fire under him by giving him some AHL time if his play continues at this level. He's a better player than what he's shown, and I don't want him to get complacent which I think is what's happening right now. With Lecavalier out, he'll have every opportunity to step up, and no one on this team (save for Giroux) should be hungrier than Couturier right now.

The kid better recognize that this is his opportunity to step forward. If we don't see him compete like crazy in the next week, I'll be massively disappointed in him for not meeting the challenge when it's being served on a platter.

And just as a side note, none of this changes my opinion of Couturier's potential. I am still as high on him as ever, just a little disappointed in the lack of growth in his game to this point. He's still just 20. He obviously will get better, I just want to see him take charge of his future for once. We've seen B. Schenn step up and dominate games at times. JVR was able to dominate games as well. But we've never seen Couturier step up and take charge of a contest. I want to see that happen even if it takes years for him to harness that potential with consistency.

EDIT: And I agree, if Newbury is in tomorrow's lineup, I am going to blow up. The call ups better be any two of Cousins, Akeson, or Raffl. I'd prefer all three and to just boot Rosehill to the South Pole, but that's a lot to ask.

Last edited by hockeyfreak7: 10-12-2013 at 01:37 AM.
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