I like Jordan Staal and think he is hell of a defensive player, but I gotta go with Couturier here. I know it is just two games, but he is making the league MVP look pretty average right now as a 19 year old. Let this kid put some muscle on and grow and the upside is through the roof. He'll be the guy who leads the Flyers in ice time for the next decade. One of the smartest players I have ever seen. Just wait til he gets some offensive linemates.
Edit: This isn't an overreaction either. If you watched Philadelphia all season long, you know that Couturier has played this well all season long.
It's tough to ignore that this poll started off as a landslide in Staal's favor. What has happened in the last 24 hours to make all the votes suddenly go Couturier's way? Coincidence? I doubt it...
That's a fair point. On the other hand, the chief criticism of Couturier, in this thread and elsewhere, tends to revolve around his limited offensive upside.
I think that people who have seen him this year realize that he has strong offensive skills and insticts, as well as a stellar defensive game. To the extent that last night's game, however small as a sample size, created a counter-point, it isn't unreasonable to take into consideration.
In my opinion, Couturier's skill level is at or past Staal's at the same point. Staal was physically more developed--far stronger--but I really don't think it is a stretch to suggest that Couturier at least has the potential to surpass Staal as an all-around player.
I think Sean Couturier will end up being the better player and likely having the better career, especially since he'll have more offensive opportunity in his career than Staal has, and he's already amazing defensively.