Philadelphia’s Sean Couturier was a sudden surprise star last season. The 2011 first-round pick was able to crack the Flyers’ roster out of training camp and turned into a shutdown forward in the playoffs, giving NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin fits.
With the lockout firmly in place, Couturier is spending his time playing for the Flyers’ AHL team in Glens Falls, NY. With the Adirondack Phantoms off to a rough start, he’s finding out that adjusting to the AHL is tricky.
“It’s different. The game’s different, the speed’s different, the players are different. There’s adjustments to be made,” Couturier said. “I’m just trying to stay patient and play my game and try to stay at the same level and things will work out pretty good, I think.”
Couturier has more than a few familiar faces with him in Glens Falls. The Phantoms have 10 players with NHL experience, eight who played with the Flyers last season.
One of those players is fellow rookie stud Brayden Schenn. Couturier says keeping their groove from last season means getting their heads on straight.
“It’s different. You’re kinda stepping down a level but at the same time you gotta push yourself and try to get better every day and whenever the lockout ends you gotta be ready. At the same time, it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase ourselves and make the most out of it.”
Former NHL head coach Terry Murray is running the show for Adirondack so you can expect to see Couturier in prime shape when the NHL is back in action. For now, he’d like to improve his AHL numbers after scoring just one goal with three assists through the team’s first seven games.