Short Shifts: Couturier on the point?

With the lockout basically in full effect and the two sides farther apart philosophically than our US Presidential nominees, the National Hockey League and its respective talking points have been all over the map — both in a literal and figurative sense. Because of this, these posts will be focusing on a wide array of topics with quick bits to get you in, out, and back on the bench in 30 seconds or less.

What’s the Point?
I wasn’t there, but it’s well documented that Sean Couturier was manning the point in the Phantoms’ Tuesday afternoon exhibition loss to the Albany Devils. One would think there might be better options at the NHL level, which would make the experiment ultimately a waste in my eyes.

Sean Couturier

This is a big year for Couturier… pic c/o

This is a great opportunity for Couturier to get some great power-play experience as a center, since his big body will be an asset down the middle of the ice as he fills out his frame.

He is still only 19; there might be more to gain by keeping it simple and focusing on areas that are more pertinent to his development, like learning how to navigate through a maze of defenders nearly twice his age. Those opportunities are usually found around the goal line, well beyond the limits of the offensive blue line he has been limited to.

With Couturier and Brayden Schenn already split up in 5-on-5 play, why not put the two of them together down low on the power play and see if they can thrive?

K(N)HL on ESPN(3)
In a true twist of irony, ESPN has struck a deal with the Kontinental Hockey League to air some of their games on ESPN3, primarily a streaming platform of the Worldwide Leader.


Hmm… pic c/o

If ever a sign a deal for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement should be done, it’s when the opponent of your primary broadcast partner picks up the rights of a Russian sporting league.  A bigger sign that progress should be made is when that league, which is best known in the US for a plane crash which killed an entire team over a year ago, gets access to NHL superstars performing against inferior competition in unknown locations across the globe, somewhat justifying the vitality of your product. Right?

Unfortunately, like the many pleas and questions from fans, this too will be lost on Gary Bettman and Company.

It should also be noted, ESPN probably paid peanuts for this contract while simultaneously gaining access to NHL caliber players for the first time since the (other) lockout — good move on their part.

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