Today's question: What can we expect from Sean Couturier with a full season under his skates?
Tim: He didnt look like he had the right stuff at the outset of last years training camp but boy, did Sean Couturier ever come on and surprise us. Ken Hitchcock would have loved coaching this kid because he always thinks defense first, and "Coots" became one of the clubs most responsible defensive players. That said, his objective in going to the Phantoms during the lockout was to push the envelope on offense, especially being integrated into the power play. The Flyers expect he will grow offensively this season. He could be a perfect role model for Scott Laughton.
Sarah: The Flyers are counting on Couturier to grow offensively, and as Tim mentioned, that was his objective during the time he spent in the AHL. I do think we'll see some of that; Couturier very well could add to last season's total of 27 points. But I also worry whether other teams around the league will have figured him out, to an extent. That's a very real threat, and it's part of the reason why you see so many players "slump" in their second years playing pro.
My best guess? He may take a bit of a step back, but because Couturier is such a natural hockey talent and so coachable, he'll have another impressive campaign in 2012-13.