After a freak collision during practice Tuesday pushed Sean Couturier out of the Flyers lineup for Game 4 of their first-round series, nearly sinking Philadelphia’s post-season hopes in the process, the young pivot battled through and cemented himself a place in team history on Friday. Sidelined as his teammates suffered a 5-0 pummelling at the hands of their state rivals one game prior, Couturier made it back into the lineup for Game 5, taking the team on his back in the waning minutes and scoring the game-winner to keep Philadelphia’s season alive. It was the type of resilient display that surely earned the respect of his fellow NHLers and the Philly faithful alike, one that hearkened back to the gutsy Flyers of old. That was the idea, apparently. Before Couturier tested out his injured knee during the Flyers’ morning skate early Friday, captain and linemate Claude Giroux told him a legendary tale about Hall of Famer Chris Pronger, according to the Courier-Post‘s Dave Isaac. The story in question was Pronger’s own display of perseverance back in 2011, when the big-bodied defender played through a hand injury during a Flyers series against the Buffalo Sabres. With his teammates unsure if Pronger would make it into the game, he showed up mere hours before puck-drop, got into the lineup, and did what he could. The story stuck with Couturier, it seems. According to Isaac, after the morning skate, Giroux received a text from his young centreman with five words: “Yeah, I’m pulling a Prongs.” The rest is orange and black history, as Couturier allowed the Flyers to even out the lopsided centre depth that plagued Philadelphia in Game 4, though the injury limited him enough to keep him mired in the bottom six. He had enough to net the most important goal of Philadelphia’s season, though, and stave off elimination.
Sean Couturier channels Chris Pronger in gutsy return for Flyers
Sportsnet | Apr 21