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The Sean Couturier dilemma

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Old
09-30-2011, 07:21 PM
  #126
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Hey guys. Big Couturier fan, so was really interested to hear how he's doing in pre-season. For what it's worth, because it looked like the Sens were going to draft him for a long time there was a lot of discussion/analysis of Couturier on sports radio and in the papers here leading up to the draft. We were also particularly lucky cause we could watch him come through here in the Q's playoffs.

The point that everyone seemed to return to was that while Couturier felt he was NHL ready (and could likely contribute and grow in an NHL season), he would benefit greatly from a year of working with power skating coaches. That until that was improved he was unlikely to be able to control the flow of the game (the way people know he can). The size/strength didn't come across in junior, but his acceleration and ability to turn tightly did. The consensus opinion seemed to be that while there was little left in junior for Couturier, a year of skating coaching would help him establish himself easier in his rookie year. It's funny, Milan Lucic was the exact comparison that (I believe) McKeen's scout used for a player that might fall a bit on that knock, but who would quickly overcome the issue and look like a tremendous steal.

The other thing, cause someone mentioned 'work ethic,' I thought I heard on the radio that he had won an award for something like "most professional prospect." By all accounts that I've heard/read, he's super dedicated and approaches the game in a really clinical manner.

Anyways, just wanted to mention that I see your dilemma. We debated it for months!! But either way, when he bulks up a bit, speeds up a bit, you're going to have one heck of an outstanding hockey player there!

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09-30-2011, 07:31 PM
  #127
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Couturier has been showing signs of dominance. His ability to control the puck in the offensive zone while not only maneuvering his large frame but also using it to his advantage is exactly what I wanted to see. Skating problems? He has a slower acceleration for a skilled guy but not many skilled guys have his size. He has the agility to move around so it does not matter if it takes an extra step for him to get to top speed. He's not the guy we need for breakaways.

Believe it or not, he's everything the Sens wanted in Zibanejad; a center who could control the pace of play in the offensive zone and eat the puck.

The Senators made a mistake, as did a number of other teams that took players above Couturier. This has been evident all preseason.

And that's talking only about his offensive game. That's leaving untouched his awareness in the defensive zone matched with his long arm length/stick work.

Couturier is the real deal and, as I said many times before, much closer to Eric Staal than to Jordan Staal.

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09-30-2011, 07:46 PM
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Couturier has been showing signs of dominance. His ability to control the puck in the offensive zone while not only maneuvering his large frame but also using it to his advantage is exactly what I wanted to see. Skating problems? He has a slower acceleration for a skilled guy but not many skilled guys have his size. He has the agility to move around so it does not matter if it takes an extra step for him to get to top speed. He's not the guy we need for breakaways.

Believe it or not, he's everything the Sens wanted in Zibanejad; a center who could control the pace of play in the offensive zone and eat the puck.

The Senators made a mistake, as did a number of other teams that took players above Couturier. This has been evident all preseason.

And that's talking only about his offensive game. That's leaving untouched his awareness in the defensive zone matched with his long arm length/stick work.

Couturier is the real deal and, as I said many times before, much closer to Eric Staal than to Jordan Staal.
Ive been impressed with his play as well. Hes not like JvR where he had to learn to use his size hes using those long arms and legs and getting around players using his size. I think he is NHL Ready and if a forward on our top 6 gets traded to make room for him as well as Matt Read I would not be surprised at all.

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09-30-2011, 07:52 PM
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Couturier has been showing signs of dominance. His ability to control the puck in the offensive zone while not only maneuvering his large frame but also using it to his advantage is exactly what I wanted to see. Skating problems? He has a slower acceleration for a skilled guy but not many skilled guys have his size. He has the agility to move around so it does not matter if it takes an extra step for him to get to top speed. He's not the guy we need for breakaways.

Believe it or not, he's everything the Sens wanted in Zibanejad; a center who could control the pace of play in the offensive zone and eat the puck.

The Senators made a mistake, as did a number of other teams that took players above Couturier. This has been evident all preseason.

And that's talking only about his offensive game. That's leaving untouched his awareness in the defensive zone matched with his long arm length/stick work.

Couturier is the real deal and, as I said many times before, much closer to Eric Staal than to Jordan Staal.
It is extremely premature to say that anybody made a mistake in the draft. The players taken haven't even played a single regular season NHL game. You couldn't possibly have enough information to say that anyone made a mistake with their pick. That's crazy.

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09-30-2011, 08:01 PM
  #130
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Re: skating/acceleration. From hockeysfuture: "Compared to the rest of the package, his skating is only average with the first few steps needing some extra work." Seems they agree, too. The only point those scouts were trying to make was that it something he probably needed to work on before he could significantly impact NHL games and unleash his full potential. I don't see that as being a particuarly controversial.

On your second point, given that Scheifele and Zibanejad have had extremely impressive camps, I'm not sure it's exactly "evident" those other teams made a mistake. But anyways, I just came by to hear how Couturier was doing, not start a speculative debate about prospects. Have a good season!

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09-30-2011, 09:23 PM
  #131
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Couturier has been showing signs of dominance. His ability to control the puck in the offensive zone while not only maneuvering his large frame but also using it to his advantage is exactly what I wanted to see. Skating problems? He has a slower acceleration for a skilled guy but not many skilled guys have his size. He has the agility to move around so it does not matter if it takes an extra step for him to get to top speed. He's not the guy we need for breakaways.

Believe it or not, he's everything the Sens wanted in Zibanejad; a center who could control the pace of play in the offensive zone and eat the puck.

The Senators made a mistake, as did a number of other teams that took players above Couturier. This has been evident all preseason.

And that's talking only about his offensive game. That's leaving untouched his awareness in the defensive zone matched with his long arm length/stick work.

Couturier is the real deal and, as I said many times before, much closer to Eric Staal than to Jordan Staal.
How can you possibly know right now that the sens made a mistake? Zibanejad has been terrific so far...... Couturier is very similar to Spezza, while Z has more of a power forward shoot the puck first drive the net style of play. He doesnt distribute the puck like Couturier or have the hockey IQ but he is way more physical has a better shot and is a stronger skater.

No one will know who the better player is for another 10 years both have looked great so far. Zib fits a need the sens dont have, they have no power style players to play in the top 6.

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09-30-2011, 09:42 PM
  #132
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I'd like him to work with Jagr I think he'd be a good mentor for Couturier. Couturier is 18, he's 6'4, and 200lb.(Jagr is 6'3 250lb) They can work on skating together too.

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09-30-2011, 09:54 PM
  #133
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Originally Posted by VanSciver View Post
It is extremely premature to say that anybody made a mistake in the draft. The players taken haven't even played a single regular season NHL game. You couldn't possibly have enough information to say that anyone made a mistake with their pick. That's crazy.
Watch me.


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Originally Posted by Valley Boys View Post
Re: skating/acceleration. From hockeysfuture: "Compared to the rest of the package, his skating is only average with the first few steps needing some extra work." Seems they agree, too. The only point those scouts were trying to make was that it something he probably needed to work on before he could significantly impact NHL games and unleash his full potential. I don't see that as being a particuarly controversial.

On your second point, given that Scheifele and Zibanejad have had extremely impressive camps, I'm not sure it's exactly "evident" those other teams made a mistake. But anyways, I just came by to hear how Couturier was doing, not start a speculative debate about prospects. Have a good season!
Sorry if I came off extremely argumentative. I promise that it's just the top 50 run-around that's got me all hyped up. We've been arguing all of these same points for a good week+ already.

And yes, Zibanejad and Scheifele have had impressive camps. Scheifele in particular has silenced quite a few critics of the Winnipeg strategy, myself included. I thought that the decision to draft Scheifele was in large part a marketing ploy due to his coaching. While a very good player, I thought it was foolish to take Scheifele so high. I'm more than prepared to eat those words.

Another point, one that I was particularly trying to make with the Zibanejad reference, is that I still don't see why the Senators passed on Couturier. Everyone on HF speculated a number of untrue nonsense about Couturier after that, and the amount of people saying that Couturier deserved to fall was pretty insane. You're still talking about the leading producer and top defensive forward in the draft. On top of that, he plays the exact game that Ottawa was trying to press forward with under their new era; puck possession.

It's possible that Couturier's not as "perfect" for the Detroit model puck-possession as Zibanejad, but clearly he could succeed in that role. He obviously has a stellar two-way game, great on-ice vision, offensive awareness, and the ability to eat the puck. Maybe Ottawa really wanted someone who played a little more physical in front and could do stuff on breakaways. Still, that stuff isn't exactly necessary for the extreme puck-possession style that I was under the impression that they were trying to promote.

It's still just bizarre to me. What I wouldn't give to pick the brain of the Senators' scouting staff members as they made that pick. Not that it was bad. Zibanejad and the rest of these skaters (this top 9 is one of the most interchangeable I've seen in a long time) are pretty damn good.


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09-30-2011, 09:59 PM
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Couturier has been showing signs of dominance. His ability to control the puck in the offensive zone while not only maneuvering his large frame but also using it to his advantage is exactly what I wanted to see. Skating problems? He has a slower acceleration for a skilled guy but not many skilled guys have his size. He has the agility to move around so it does not matter if it takes an extra step for him to get to top speed. He's not the guy we need for breakaways.

Believe it or not, he's everything the Sens wanted in Zibanejad; a center who could control the pace of play in the offensive zone and eat the puck.

The Senators made a mistake, as did a number of other teams that took players above Couturier. This has been evident all preseason.

And that's talking only about his offensive game. That's leaving untouched his awareness in the defensive zone matched with his long arm length/stick work.

Couturier is the real deal and, as I said many times before, much closer to Eric Staal than to Jordan Staal.
This is music to my ears.

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09-30-2011, 10:16 PM
  #135
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Originally Posted by Valley Boys View Post
Hey guys. Big Couturier fan, so was really interested to hear how he's doing in pre-season. For what it's worth, because it looked like the Sens were going to draft him for a long time there was a lot of discussion/analysis of Couturier on sports radio and in the papers here leading up to the draft. We were also particularly lucky cause we could watch him come through here in the Q's playoffs.

The point that everyone seemed to return to was that while Couturier felt he was NHL ready (and could likely contribute and grow in an NHL season), he would benefit greatly from a year of working with power skating coaches. That until that was improved he was unlikely to be able to control the flow of the game (the way people know he can). The size/strength didn't come across in junior, but his acceleration and ability to turn tightly did. The consensus opinion seemed to be that while there was little left in junior for Couturier, a year of skating coaching would help him establish himself easier in his rookie year. It's funny, Milan Lucic was the exact comparison that (I believe) McKeen's scout used for a player that might fall a bit on that knock, but who would quickly overcome the issue and look like a tremendous steal.

The other thing, cause someone mentioned 'work ethic,' I thought I heard on the radio that he had won an award for something like "most professional prospect." By all accounts that I've heard/read, he's super dedicated and approaches the game in a really clinical manner.

Anyways, just wanted to mention that I see your dilemma. We debated it for months!! But either way, when he bulks up a bit, speeds up a bit, you're going to have one heck of an outstanding hockey player there!
Everything else you posted, Shafer answered well.

As to the bolded: He's been beefing up ever since he was drafted just to be able to make the team right out of camp. He's determined, and working hard.

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10-01-2011, 03:31 AM
  #136
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Watch me.




Sorry if I came off extremely argumentative. I promise that it's just the top 50 run-around that's got me all hyped up. We've been arguing all of these same points for a good week+ already.

And yes, Zibanejad and Scheifele have had impressive camps. Scheifele in particular has silenced quite a few critics of the Winnipeg strategy, myself included. I thought that the decision to draft Scheifele was in large part a marketing ploy due to his coaching. While a very good player, I thought it was foolish to take Scheifele so high. I'm more than prepared to eat those words.

Another point, one that I was particularly trying to make with the Zibanejad reference, is that I still don't see why the Senators passed on Couturier. Everyone on HF speculated a number of untrue nonsense about Couturier after that, and the amount of people saying that Couturier deserved to fall was pretty insane. You're still talking about the leading producer and top defensive forward in the draft. On top of that, he plays the exact game that Ottawa was trying to press forward with under their new era; puck possession.

It's possible that Couturier's not as "perfect" for the Detroit model puck-possession as Zibanejad, but clearly he could succeed in that role. He obviously has a stellar two-way game, great on-ice vision, offensive awareness, and the ability to eat the puck. Maybe Ottawa really wanted someone who played a little more physical in front and could do stuff on breakaways. Still, that stuff isn't exactly necessary for the extreme puck-possession style that I was under the impression that they were trying to promote.

It's still just bizarre to me. What I wouldn't give to pick the brain of the Senators' scouting staff members as they made that pick. Not that it was bad. Zibanejad and the rest of these skaters (this top 9 is one of the most interchangeable I've seen in a long time) are pretty damn good.
Couturier did not have a very strong interview with sens brass, the Murrays draft a specific type of player and personality (abrasive cocky and confident). The opposite of what Couturier displayed. He also disappeared in the playoffs when they played Gatineau right in Ottawa's back yard. Ottawa drafted Zibanejad for all the reasons I named earlier and he has had an awesome training camp so far arguably better then Couturier. I dont believe Couturier was even on the sens radar (not that he is a bad pick he just did not fit the profile). The Murrays are running the sens not Ken Holland, if anything this team will be built around the Ducks 2007 model. Not sure why you think they are modeling the style after detroit (not that thats a bad thing). But just because they hired Detroits assistant coach does not mean the mentality is a Detroit model.

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10-01-2011, 04:18 AM
  #137
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Watch me.


Watch you what? Expose yourself? A credible talent evaluator just doesn't make that statement at this juncture of either player's career. It's a very telling statement. And lacks common sense.

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10-01-2011, 05:01 AM
  #138
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Maybe we should let them play a shift or two, before we begin to claim that we won the draft and that Ottawa are run by fools...

Couturier has looked fine so far though.

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10-01-2011, 08:07 AM
  #139
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Couturier did not have a very strong interview with sens brass, the Murrays draft a specific type of player and personality (abrasive cocky and confident). The opposite of what Couturier displayed. He also disappeared in the playoffs when they played Gatineau right in Ottawa's back yard. Ottawa drafted Zibanejad for all the reasons I named earlier and he has had an awesome training camp so far arguably better then Couturier. I dont believe Couturier was even on the sens radar (not that he is a bad pick he just did not fit the profile). The Murrays are running the sens not Ken Holland, if anything this team will be built around the Ducks 2007 model. Not sure why you think they are modeling the style after detroit (not that thats a bad thing). But just because they hired Detroits assistant coach does not mean the mentality is a Detroit model.
Ducks 2007 is a little different from Detroit. I was under the impression (for whatever reason, which I suspect to be an actual quote from someone within the organization at some point in time) that they were going to do a heavier puck possession game.

Either way, that's fine.

Putting that aside for a second, I find it hard to believe that Sean Couturier was not on the Sens' radar. That seems a little out there.

Also, I will point out that Couturier is in fact pretty soft-spoken. I don't necessarily know whether or not that would display a lack of confidence, but it definitely displays a lack of cockiness. Contrary to what people believe, cockiness is not necessarily a bad trait to have in terms of a professional athlete so I can understand a little bit of what you're saying. It just seems weird to base everything on an interview and a playoff run.

Maybe I'm still just trying to get to the bottom of his free fall down the draft board. Players like Couturier don't fall. It just doesn't really happen. Players like Murphy fall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirimon View Post
Maybe we should let them play a shift or two, before we begin to claim that we won the draft and that Ottawa are run by fools...

Couturier has looked fine so far though.
Maybe we should wait before we resort to sensationalism as well. Just a suggestion. I didn't say we won the draft or that Ottawa are fools. I just think it's possible they made a mistake. Normally you go best player available. I don't see after the fact that the BPA was Zibanejad.

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Watch you what? Expose yourself? A credible talent evaluator just doesn't make that statement at this juncture of either player's career. It's a very telling statement. And lacks common sense.
Responding to you would be an adventure that lacks common sense, so I will not. No reason to get into another debate with you. I know how those go. Anyway, off to work.

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10-01-2011, 08:42 AM
  #140
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I think Couts falling to us was more an indication that there were 12 or so studs in this years draft then anything else. I think this has the potential to go down as a VERY good draft year. There were guys after Couts that were good picks too.

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10-01-2011, 08:44 AM
  #141
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Watch you what? Expose yourself? A credible talent evaluator just doesn't make that statement at this juncture of either player's career. It's a very telling statement. And lacks common sense.
Lay off of Chris dude. He is a member of hockey's future staff, and as such, his job is to evaluate the talent level of various prospects. What's the point in being a talent evaluator if you don't start till a few years down the line in the development process?

Analysts in any field will often make statements before you can be 100% definitive, telling you what they think is going to happen. Any idiot could tell me 3 years from now whether Z or Couturier is the better player... heck, a cursory look at the stat sheet and ice time per game could probably do that. Likewise, any idiot could tell me how Apple's stock has done over the past 3 years, or how the stock market as a whole will do.

Analysts make a name for themselves by predicting what is going to happen before everyone else. Chris is simply saying (and in part staking his reputation) that Couturier will be the better player than Z.

There is nothing ill-informed about that statement, there is nothing wrong with that statement, it is his opinion, and as an "expert", he is qualified to give that opinion... just like you read "expert" opinions on the stock market every day in the WSJ (or whatever periodical you use).

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10-01-2011, 11:35 AM
  #142
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Couturier has been showing signs of dominance. His ability to control the puck in the offensive zone while not only maneuvering his large frame but also using it to his advantage is exactly what I wanted to see. Skating problems? He has a slower acceleration for a skilled guy but not many skilled guys have his size. He has the agility to move around so it does not matter if it takes an extra step for him to get to top speed. He's not the guy we need for breakaways.

Believe it or not, he's everything the Sens wanted in Zibanejad; a center who could control the pace of play in the offensive zone and eat the puck.

The Senators made a mistake, as did a number of other teams that took players above Couturier. This has been evident all preseason.

And that's talking only about his offensive game. That's leaving untouched his awareness in the defensive zone matched with his long arm length/stick work.

Couturier is the real deal and, as I said many times before, much closer to Eric Staal than to Jordan Staal.
I honestly don't know where you are seeing this at all. He's been nothing but average imo, while showing hockey smarts. Which is wonderful, but I fail to see anything resembling dominance.

And I'm not hating on Couturier. I'm a fan and expect him to be very good. I just think he's not even close to being able to play at this level, from what I've seen.

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10-01-2011, 11:48 AM
  #143
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Every one of our prospects are the next NHL wunderkind. Just like Lehtivuori and Maroon were poised to break out as NHL regulars, and Andreas Nodl's 20-goal season last year.

Couturier has been no better, or worse, than Zibanejad, who has a better chance of playing more than Couturier will. If Courutier was "dominant," maybe he'd have more points on the board.

The plan here should be simple. Couturier gets the 9 games while we recover from some injuries and suspensions, goes back to juniors. Maybe we see him in the playoffs, either for the Flyers or Phantoms.

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10-01-2011, 11:54 AM
  #144
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I think Couturier has been as good as advertised.

I wouldn't say average, but I wouldn't say *showing signs of dominance* either.

*Showing signs of dominance* is a statement that should be reserved for the best on the ice.

He has looked exactly like I thought he would look. He looks like he belongs and could make the team if we need him to.

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10-01-2011, 12:52 PM
  #145
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
Couturier has been showing signs of dominance. His ability to control the puck in the offensive zone while not only maneuvering his large frame but also using it to his advantage is exactly what I wanted to see. Skating problems? He has a slower acceleration for a skilled guy but not many skilled guys have his size. He has the agility to move around so it does not matter if it takes an extra step for him to get to top speed. He's not the guy we need for breakaways.

Believe it or not, he's everything the Sens wanted in Zibanejad; a center who could control the pace of play in the offensive zone and eat the puck.

The Senators made a mistake, as did a number of other teams that took players above Couturier. This has been evident all preseason.

And that's talking only about his offensive game. That's leaving untouched his awareness in the defensive zone matched with his long arm length/stick work.

Couturier is the real deal and, as I said many times before, much closer to Eric Staal than to Jordan Staal.
I disagree Zibby will be a stud for us for a long time, the kid as speed, vision, can hit, he's got the whole package. Couturier will be a good player for you guys also so but I'm very happy with the pick we made Zibby will be captain the Sens one day.

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10-01-2011, 12:57 PM
  #146
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Originally Posted by DUHockey9 View Post
I honestly don't know where you are seeing this at all. He's been nothing but average imo, while showing hockey smarts. Which is wonderful, but I fail to see anything resembling dominance.

And I'm not hating on Couturier. I'm a fan and expect him to be very good. I just think he's not even close to being able to play at this level, from what I've seen.
I would have said he was average before last game, but last game I think he was one of the better players on the ice. Created scoring chances, used his body muscling off vet players, and won most of his faceoffs. Thats all you can ask from our 18 yr old 3rd line center.

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10-01-2011, 01:18 PM
  #147
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post

I just think it's possible they made a mistake.



Responding to you would be an adventure that lacks common sense, so I will not. No reason to get into another debate with you. I know how those go. Anyway, off to work.

I wouldn't if I was you either. I'll ask you how much time you've spent in Ottawa's camp, or watching the player play in person? You made a ridiculous statement. I called you on it. The player hasn't played a single NHL game and you called the pick a mistake. That statement couldn't be more illogical.

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Originally Posted by sandlansd View Post
Lay off of Chris dude. He is a member of hockey's future staff, and as such, his job is to evaluate the talent level of various prospects. What's the point in being a talent evaluator if you don't start till a few years down the line in the development process?

Analysts in any field will often make statements before you can be 100% definitive, telling you what they think is going to happen. Any idiot could tell me 3 years from now whether Z or Couturier is the better player... heck, a cursory look at the stat sheet and ice time per game could probably do that. Likewise, any idiot could tell me how Apple's stock has done over the past 3 years, or how the stock market as a whole will do.

Analysts make a name for themselves by predicting what is going to happen before everyone else. Chris is simply saying (and in part staking his reputation) that Couturier will be the better player than Z.

There is nothing ill-informed about that statement, there is nothing wrong with that statement, it is his opinion, and as an "expert", he is qualified to give that opinion... just like you read "expert" opinions on the stock market every day in the WSJ (or whatever periodical you use).
No that's what he said after he made a ridiculous statement. No credible NHL analyst makes that statement. It's that simple.

How much time has he spent in Ottawa's camp, to come to that conclusion?

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10-01-2011, 03:25 PM
  #148
Haute Couturier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd2210 View Post
I think Couts falling to us was more an indication that there were 12 or so studs in this years draft then anything else. I think this has the potential to go down as a VERY good draft year. There were guys after Couts that were good picks too.
It is very rare to see 12 studs in any draft year. I think Couturier was underrated because he broke out a year prior to prospects like RNH, Huberdeau, Strome, Zibanejad, etc so he wasn't the shiny new toy like these players were. The same thing happened to Larsson. I think Couts will end up being better than some of the players taken ahead of him.

I still think Scheifele was a reach despite his strong camp. I also believe the Winnipeg Thrashers will end up Josh Bailey-ing him if he is in the NHL beyond 9 games this year. He wasn't even a top 30 player in the OHL last year.

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10-01-2011, 03:58 PM
  #149
VanSciver
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Originally Posted by GKJ View Post
Every one of our prospects are the next NHL wunderkind. Just like Lehtivuori and Maroon were poised to break out as NHL regulars, and Andreas Nodl's 20-goal season last year.

Couturier has been no better, or worse, than Zibanejad, who has a better chance of playing more than Couturier will. If Courutier was "dominant," maybe he'd have more points on the board.

The plan here should be simple. Couturier gets the 9 games while we recover from some injuries and suspensions, goes back to juniors. Maybe we see him in the playoffs, either for the Flyers or Phantoms.
I agree, Couturier shows signs of being a very good player, but no where near dominance as some have erroneously suggested.

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10-01-2011, 05:19 PM
  #150
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Before: Getting pushed off the puck. Looked promising on faceoffs. Definitely has an offensive touch and looked to be feeling out D decently well.

Recently: Looks stronger on the puck (which is impressive because he needs to bulk up-- when he does-- he may be dominating). Faceoffs still looking decent. Offensively has made some plays. Defensively, I can't recall how he's been the last few games. Someone else could chime in here.

Stock definitely rising. If he turns into Eric Stall I'll be smitten.

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