For years Sean has been the kind of player that you want on your team just not your fantasy team. A talented defensive center, he was often given the task of shutting down the opposing star lines. He spent seasons going up against the Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid types which was great for the Flyers, but provided little production that translated onto your fantasy team. Coming back to back seasons where the Flyers finished sub average in offensive produciton, the Flyers decided to spice things up a bit moving Claude Giroux to wing allowing him to focus more on goal scoring and less on..well doing everything on the ice. They promoted Sean up to the top line center to work alongside Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. For years the team has struggled to find a perfect pairing for these two ever since trading Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for RJ Umberger. Well, the move worked.
12 games into last year: 2G, 11A, 13Pts, 30 SOG, -6, 7 PPP
This year: 6G, 8A, 14Pts, +3, 24SOG, 4PPP
12 games into last year: 6G, 5A, 11Pts, 50 SOG, -2, 3PPP
This year: 2G, 14A, 16Pts, +4, 43SOG, 5PPP
12 games into last year: 3G, 1A, 4Pts, 20 SOG, -3, 0PPP
This year: 9G, 6A, 15Pts, +10, 36SOG, 1PPP
Combined last year: 11G, 17A, 28Pts, -11, 100 SOG, 10PPP
This year: 17G, 28A, +17 45Pts, 104SOG, 10PPP
Improvement of 6 more goals, 11 more assists, 17 more points , a plus minus improvement of 28!, 4 more shots and same number of power play points.
To be honest, I was surprised the Shot Total was only up 4 year over year but I think that also speaks to why this transition makes so much sense. For Claude Giroux he can now focus on his shots instead of keeping his head around all of the moving pieces at a given time. Sean Couturier can handle the ardent back checking and making the play develop just like he always did, the main difference is that now he’s passing to Giroux and Voracek instead of Dale Weise, Brayden Schenn or Michael Raffl. This starting line combination becomes a chicken and egg kind of argument, as long as the line is producing, they will keep this line together or maybe it’s as long as they keep this line together, it will keep producing, either way, pick up Sean (64% owned currently).