The Philadelphia Flyers are behind 2-1 in the series against the defending champions Pittsburgh Penguins, and there might be more bad news coming their way after Tuesday when top forward Sean Couturier left practice limping after an open ice hit by teammate Radko Gudas. While the fan base would have liked the news to get better on Wednesday, they are only left with uncertainly as Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol has refused to give a precise update on his star player.
During practice on Tuesday morning, Couturier left practice limping after an open ice hit by Gudas, and needed help from the team's trainer, Jim McCrossin, to make it back to the dressing room.
There were no update following the practice, and on Wednesday, everybody noticed that Couturier was not on the ice for the morning skate. Hakstol was faced with the tough questions on the young forward's condition after the skate, and had not much to say about it.
"Sean Couturier is a game-time decision," said the head coach. “It’s not about one player here.”
In the last three postseason games between the Flyers and the Penguins, Couturier has managed to tally a goal and two assists, and added two penalty minutes to his playoff record. The young forward recorded the goal, two power-play assists and a plus-2 rating with a whopping 27:15 of ice time on the way to a 5-1 victory over the Penguins on Friday.
Couturier was a key player to the Flyers' success this regular season, and a major reason why the team was able to clinch a playoff spot this year. His promotion to the number one line was a smashing success for the 25-year-old centre and his team, as his 31 goals and 45 assists obliterated his previous career high marks (15 and 28). He also deserves some credit for Claude Giroux's huge offensive rebound this year, as the Flyers captain struggled offensively last season.
The young forward seemed visibly upset after colliding with Gudas during practice - maybe he already knew he will need more time to heal from this lower-body injury. However, during the postseason, it seems that coaches will prefer to say game-time decision about any players instead of offering an early update to their rival team.
So, unless Couturier had a great night of sleep, he might not be in uniform tonight in Philly.