2011 IIHF World U20 Championship - Day Four

2011 Draft Profile: Sean Couturier

Sean Couturier is a big body center who has excellent vision and hands. He’s responsible in his own zone, can grind with the best of them, and is one of the best face-off guys in this year’s draft. If this were the pre-lockout NHL, scouts would be drooling all over him (more than they are) because of his combination of size and skill.

Before the season started, Couturier competing for the #1 overall spot in the draft; he was the only underager to make Team Canada’s World Junior Championship team as well. But concerns about his skating ability knocked him down a peg from the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jonathan Huberdeau.

Comparisons for Couturier have ranged from Jason Allison to Joe Thornton. He’s a big player who just looks like he’d be a dominant force with his playmaking ability. Unfortunately, like Thornton he doesn’t always use his big body to his advantage. A truly talented player, he should be able to make it in the NHL—but if he can improve his skating, he’ll be able to thrive. It hasn’t been a problem so far.

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 197 lbs
Position: Center
Team: Drummondville (QMJHL)

  • 2008-09: 9 goals and 22 assists (31 points) in 58 games
  • 2009-10: 41 goals and 55 assists (96 points) in 68 games
  • 2010-11: 36 goals and 60 assists (96 points) in 58 games

Rankings

NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING #6TH SKATER (NA)
TSN 5TH OVERALL
INTERNATIONAL SCOUTING SERVICES 4TH OVERALL
THE HOCKEY NEWS 4TH OVERALL


From NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards

“Sean has excellent puckhandling and playmaking ability; he sees the ice and reads the play very well . . . He’s extremely smart and gets himself into good scoring position. He plays a solid two-way game and is very responsible defensively.”

From International Scouting Services:

“He is an extremely smart and skilled playmaking center. He sees the ice well, knows where team mates are at all times; his passing is exceptional plus he is extremely dangerous in close. He creates offense and makes player better around him.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.

Video: Orpik penalized after catching Maatta with late, high hit

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The Pittsburgh Penguins were without defenseman Olli Maatta for most of the first period of Game 2 after he was on the receiving end of a high, late hit from Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik.

The hit occurred early in the first period, well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck on a rush into the Washington zone.

Maatta, who nearly fell over as he tried to stand back up, was in obvious distress as he went to the dressing room. Orpik was given a minor penalty for interference on the play.