We mentioned the Flyers put Sean Couturier on injured reserve over the weekend, but the center will return to the lineup tonight against the Canadiens. That’s not the only good news. Steve Mason will also make his return to the ice, just in time actually, as the Flyers had to recall goaltender Anthony Stolarz from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms as backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth will miss 7-10 days with a lower-body injury.
Yesterday, CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio said Couturier would be expected to return tonight. That’s good news for the Flyers and their chance to go on a run to get into playoff positioning just increased.
The return of Couturier comes just in time for the Flyers to make a real run to gain some ground in the standings. Sitting at 21-18-8 with 50 points, the Flyers are in 7th place in the Metropolitan Division, six points out of a playoff spot. As for the Wild Card, the Flyers are five points out. Here are some of the things Couturier and Mason had to say about coming back.
I feel pretty good,” Couturier said. “Everyone’s coming off a four-, five-day break. I think it eases a little bit the adaptation. If you’re coming in and you’re playing every two days, guys are at a high pace, maybe it’s a little tougher to get back into it. I feel good and hopefully I can help the team tonight.”
“I feel OK,” Mason said. “Today went through practice and no real issues. I’m not overly concerned about it. We’ve done a good job managing it. Was fortunate the break happened when it happened and gave it a little bit of time. Just trying to prepare to play a lot of hockey here. If we didn’t have those days I think it would have just kept lingering and lingering. It was a fortunate time that the four days were coming up. I had a point where it was starting to feel a little bit worse. Nice break to have.”
Big game tonight. Who you got?