Couturier plans to wear hospital wristband from daughter’s birth through playoffs

Sean Couturier
     You might not put it in the same category as a rabbit’s foot or a four-leaf clover but the hospital wristband Sean Couturier plans to wear for the entire Stanley Cup playoffs does have special meaning.
      It’s the ID “bracelet’’ Couturier was wearing last Thursday when his new daughter, Ella, was born.
      Not that the Flyers center is superstitious or anything: He claims he’s wearing it because if he cut it off now, he might misplace it somewhere. So it certainly would be sad to lose a keepsake like that.
      “It was an amazing feeling, a great day,’’ Couturier said of the birth of his and his wife Laurence’s first child, Ella, during a Zoom call from Toronto on Monday. “Pretty busy last few days before coming here. It’s already tough leaving but it is what it is. We live in a different world. Some people would like to be in our situation.’’
      As for the band, it’s going to be around for a while.
      “I’ll probably keep it,’’ he said with a grin. “It’s a little something I kind of play for. I figured on cutting it off before leaving because the wife wants to keep it for the baby book for a memory. I feel if I cut it off, I might lose it. That way (keep wearing it) it’s safer.’’
      >Hart to start against Penguins
      Head coach Alain Vigneault announced his goaltending plan for Tuesday first (and only) preseason game against Pittsburgh.
      Carter Hart will play the first two periods and Brian Elliott will play the third.
      Vigneault also said he will use a full complement of his expanded roster, namely 13 forwards (normally 12) and at least seven defensemen.
      “Everyone’s in the same boat, we haven’t played a game in four months,’’ Hart said. “So it’s going to be a bit sloppy at first, everybody just getting their feet under them. But it will be nice to get back into that game mentality.’’
      Added Couturier: “It’s a rivalry (battle of Pennsylvania) so emotions are going to get probably high. You can’t ask for a better way to get back into it, especially going into the playoffs. I kind of like that.’’
      >Flyers like round robin format
      Hart said the Flyers probably would rather play the Penguins in a preseason game and then the round-robin tournament with Boston, Tampa Bay and Washington for seeding only rather than a do-or-die best-of-five play-in like the other 16 teams.
      “I think it’s nice that we have those four games here,’’ Hart said.
“Including the exhibition, you kind of get back into game mode. Just to feel things out.
“It’s a different environment for everybody, something we’re not used to. We put ourselves in a good position, so we’re lucky to have those four games here to see what it’s going to be like as opposed to some teams getting one exhibition game who have to fight for their lives to get into the postseason. It will be nice to ease our way into things.’’
Couturier also thinks the format has advantages for the Flyers.
“Just to add on, I think it’s going to put a little less pressure right off the bat,’’ he said. “We can get back into it without the risk of losing (not qualifying).’’
Coach Alain Vigneault will treat his lineups accordingly.
“I’m going to use these three games to find out what’s working best for us,’’ Vigneault said. “Not knowing exactly how the players are going to respond after such a long layoff. . .some guys might be right back to where they were, some other guys might not be there.
Wayne Fish
About Wayne Fish 993 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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