Flyers

Is there an NHL forward that does more than Flyers' Sean Couturier?

Is there an NHL forward that does more than Flyers' Sean Couturier?

For the second straight season, Sean Couturier has put up 30-plus goals and 40-plus assists.

By the end of 2018-19, he should have new career highs across the board. Last season, Couturier eclipsed the 40-point mark for the first time by blowing past it with 31 goals and 45 assists, while finishing as the Selke Trophy (top defensive forward) runner-up.

Through 72 games this season, Couturier has 31 goals and 41 assists as eight contests remain, making him one of 20 players currently with 30 or more goals and 40 or more assists.

That's an eye-opening feat in itself. But how the 26-year-old is doing it compared to the rest is even more impressive.

First, let's list the 20 players:

• Nikita Kucherov (37 goals, 83 assists)
• Connor McDavid (37 goals, 70 assists)
• Patrick Kane (41 goals, 60 assists)
• Leon Draisaitl (43 goals, 51 assists)
• Sidney Crosby (33 goals, 60 assists)
• Johnny Gaudreau (35 goals, 57 assists)
• Nathan MacKinnon (37 goals, 54 assists)
• Brad Marchand (31 goals, 59 assists)
• Brayden Point (39 goals, 50 assists)
• Steven Stamkos (38 goals, 50 assists)
• Mikko Rantanen (31 goals, 56 assists)
• Aleksander Barkov (34 goals, 53 assists)
• John Tavares (41 goals, 40 assists)
• Mark Scheifele (35 goals, 45 assists)
• Sebastian Aho (30 goals, 49 assists)
• Sean Monahan (31 goals, 45 assists)
• Matthew Tkachuk (34 goals, 42 assists)
• Jonathan Toews (31 goals, 42 assists)
• Sean Couturier (31 goals, 41 assists)
• Patrice Bergeron (30 goals, 41 assists)

Among all NHL forwards, Couturier has played the 11th-most penalty-kill minutes at 167:48. Of the other 19 players with 30-plus goals and 40-plus assists, only one ranks in the top 50 for shorthanded ice time among forwards — Florida's Barkov at 21st with 151:50.

Meanwhile, 17 of those 19 players with 30-plus goals and 40-plus assists rank in the top 50 for power-play ice time among forwards. Tavares and Bergeron do not, while Couturier just cracks the top 50 at 44th with 223:17 man-advantage minutes.

On top of that, since the start of the 2017-18 season, only one forward has a better plus-minus mark than Couturier's plus-48 — Vegas' William Karlsson at plus-50.

Couturier has truly turned into one of the NHL's top do-it-all forwards. He consistently matches up against the opposition's best, does yeoman's work on the PK, takes (and wins) a ton of faceoffs and has played the fourth-most minutes per game among forwards since last season.

To be a 30-40 guy again is noteworthy. To record those numbers with a full plate of everything else is proof Couturier has become an elite Swiss Army knife in the league.

He's locked up with the Flyers through the 2021-22 season with a cap hit of just $4.3 million.

In late January, general manager Chuck Fletcher talked about untouchables. He mentioned Claude Giroux for obvious reasons, such as the captain's no-movement clause.

Alongside Giroux, Couturier should be right there because his fingerprints are everywhere.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

With newcomers, Flyers keep on humming in NHL playoff race, have Penguins in their sights

With newcomers, Flyers keep on humming in NHL playoff race, have Penguins in their sights

BOX SCORE

A day after the NHL trade deadline, the Flyers showed off their new look and didn't miss a beat.

With reinforcements Derek Grant and Nate Thompson, the Flyers defeated the Sharks, 4-2, Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (36-20-7) have won four straight games, their longest win streak since Dec. 17-23, when they also won four in a row.

Not many in the league have been better than the Flyers over their last 20 games. The Flyers are 14-5-1 with an NHL-high 72 goals since Jan. 8. Over that stretch, only one club has more points than the Flyers' 29 — the Lightning with 31.

The Sharks (26-33-4), who have a number of injuries and traded away Barclay Goodrow and Patrick Marleau before Monday's deadline, have lost five straight.

• Good work by the Flyers handling a lesser opponent.

Tuesday was a big night in the playoff race as the Islanders, Blue Jackets and Hurricanes were all in action

The Flyers are still in third place of the Metropolitan Division and climbed to within one point of the second-place Penguins.

• The new line of Scott Laughton, Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny sure was fun to watch.

During the second period, Hayes and Konecny scored goals to help the Flyers restore order with a 3-1 lead at intermission.

Hayes tacked on another in the third period, giving him 21 markers this season. The 27-year-old is projected to break his career high of 25 set in 2017-18 and he might flirt with 30.

On Hayes' first goal, the 6-foot-5 center used his impressive reach to snag Laughton's pass and bury the shot. The Flyers are 17-0-1 when Hayes scores a goal.

Meanwhile, Konecny finished with his third three-point effort over the last four games. He had two three-point games over his first three NHL seasons.

Laughton continued his always reliable play with two assists and a plus-3 mark.

• Grant and Thompson, both acquired by the Flyers Monday, were eased into duty.

Both went scoreless as Grant committed a penalty and was solid in the faceoff circle, while Thompson centered the fourth line.

Here's how they're getting acclimated (see story).

• At home, Carter Hart has been an absolute nightmare for opponents.

With 26 saves, he improved his home mark to 17-2-2.

The 21-year-old has yielded two or fewer goals in 17 of his 21 home games. He is a must-see ticket in Philly.

• Defensemen Matt Niskanen and Travis Sanheim made clutch third-period plays to break up juicy scoring chances for the Sharks.

• Nicolas Aube-Kubel has six goals this season. He has turned into one of the biggest surprises since his mid-December call-up.

Last season, he went scoreless over nine outings, playing just 5:35 minutes per game.

• A beautiful job by the Flyers.

• The Flyers are off Wednesday and practice Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in Voorhees, New Jersey, before hosting the Rangers Friday night (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Don't like the Phillie Phanatic's new look? Gritty has a message for you

Don't like the Phillie Phanatic's new look? Gritty has a message for you

When Gritty and the Phillie Phanatic met in September 2018 at Citizens Bank Park, a special bond was born.

With his best friend from across the street under the microscope for his new look, Gritty stepped up Tuesday night in defense of the Phanatic.

During the first period of the Flyers-Sharks game at the Wells Fargo Center, Gritty had a message for anyone out there not in support of the Phanatic's fresh style.

This is what best friends do.

Good for Gritty. The Phanatic would do the same for the orange fella.

Both will be reunited at the ballyard soon.

Look out.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers