Couturier Taken To Hospital After Puck To Head

17 Dec

WELLS FARGO CENTER — It just doesn’t end for the Flyers. Another injury came for a team that can ill afford any more. With 48.7 seconds left in the first period, Sean Couturier went down and needed the help of trainer Jim McCrossin to get up. Then he was taken to Pennsylvania Hospital.

Kimmo Timonen took a slapshot from the point and it continued to rise. Couturier turned his head and the puck struck him in the back of his helmet, on the left side. After laying on the ice for a few moments, Couturier was helped up and skated off under his own power, drawing the loudest cheer of the day from Flyers fans who saw their team go down 4-0 after one period of play.

“Well, we still don’t know [his condition],” said general manager Paul Holmgren. “He’s at the hospital being evaluated. He got hit. Fortunately, it hit him in the helmet. But we thought it was best to send him to the hospital and get him checked.

“The little testing they do, he did really well … whatever they do. I think that’s more checking for any damage to his skull and taking a look to see if there’s any internal damage.”

Through Saturday’s game the Flyers have lost 83 man games to injury, not including Blair Betts and Ian Laperriere, both of whom are on the roster but have not suited up this season. Now, the Flyers may need to make another call-up.

“I don’t know,” said Holmgren. “We gotta count up the guys we’ve got here and see. We do have some flexibility. Matt Read can play center. Obviously, [Brayden] Schenn and [Claude] Giroux are probably not options here for the near future. So I’m not sure. We’ll have to talk about that.”

The Flyers have already had four concussions this season among Chris Pronger, Schenn, Read and Giroux. While it would be speculative to assume that’s the prognosis for Couturier as well, the way things have gone in the NHL these days produces that fear.

“You see something like that happen to anybody and your heart stops for a second and feel that feeling in the pit of your stomach, but especially such a young player like that who has really done all the right things for us this year,” said Peter Laviolette. “We hope that he is okay and it’s nothing too serious.”

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