While Sean Couturier did not suit up Wednesday night for Game 4 against the Penguins, the Flyers’ centerman did receive national recognition as a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy.
Couturier joins Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar as the three finalists for the award slotted to the game’s best defensive forward.
In reality, the Selke Trophy has transformed into the game’s best two-way forward and with Couturier's 31-goal, 76-point season, his offense finally caught up to his defensive ability. He finished tied with three players for third in plus/minus as a plus-34.
The 25-year-old could become the third Flyer to win the award and the first since Dave Poulin won in 1986-87. Bobby Clarke won the Selke Trophy in 1982-83.
Couturier missed Wednesday’s game after a collision with Radko Gudas during Tuesday’s practice. He officially suffered a “lower-body injury,” but video suggests it's a knee injury. During a drill, Gudas ran into Couturier, making contact with the center's right knee.
Bergeron has won four of the last six awards, while Kopitar won it two seasons ago.
The NHL awards will take place June 20 in Las Vegas.