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Are the Flyers a lottery team without Sean Couturier? (+)

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Sean Couturier
Sean Couturier has been the glue for the Philadelphia Flyers this season. (Photo: AP)

Undoubtedly, the Philadelphia Flyers are the surprise team of the first half of the 2023-24 season. They’re 10th in the NHL in goals against at the time of this writing and sitting in 13th place in the NHL overall. That’s a far cry from their 26th-place finish in the 2022-23 season, though a lot has changed since then. Perhaps most importantly, veteran center and Frank J. Selke Trophy winner Sean Couturier returned after missing over half of the 2021-22 season and the entire 2022-23 season. This begs the question: was that who the Flyers really are without their main man in the lineup?

This is also not to say that the Flyers are a bad team without one player. However, based on the early season results this season, it’s very difficult to imagine Philadelphia in the same place without Couturier. His impact cannot be understated, and the analytics more than back that up. As a matter of fact, Couturier has been a top-15 forward in the NHL this season. Indeed, despite turning 31 years old and missing nearly two full years of hockey, No. 14 has been one of the best players in hockey, not just on the Flyers.

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