The Flyers’ season ended today in an 8-5 loss to the Penguins. This happened in spite of a superhuman effort by Sean Couturier, who had a hat trick and five total points. Those included this goal:
SEAN COUTURIER. WHAT A FREAKING MOVE. FLYERS LEAD 3-2. pic.twitter.com/LdDYjIgW25— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 22, 2018
And this assist:
Scott Laughton puts the Flyers up two with his first career playoff goal! pic.twitter.com/2eBJc70wHQ— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 22, 2018
Couturier did all of this just five days after getting taken out by Radko Gudas in an accidental collision in practice and injuring what at the time appeared to be his knee. Couturier would miss Game 4 in Philadelphia, before coming back and scoring the game-winning goal in Friday’s Game 5 in Pittsburgh.
After the game, Couturier — now no longer under the veil of secrecy that teams operate under when it comes to postseason injuries — revealed that he had torn his MCL on that practice collision.
Couturier played with torn MCL. Said it won’t need surgery but in regular season would have been four week recovery.— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) April 22, 2018
As the Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac notes there, the expected recovery time for an injury like that in the regular season would have been roughly four weeks. Instead, Couturier missed three days before coming back and playing in an elimination game, and five days before getting a hat trick in another elimination game.
In this, the true breakout season from Sean Couturier that it feels like we’ve been waiting four or five years for, it felt for large stretches of the regular season as if he and Claude Giroux (and whoever else was on their line) were the only Flyers capable of keeping this team on course when things went wrong. In a series where Giroux struggled, Couturier did what he could to keep this team afloat, and on Sunday, he had what was one of the guttiest playoff performances you’ll ever see, tallying five points in a game where no other Flyer had more than one.