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Fantasy Spin: Couturier lends helping hand

Flyers center among assists-per-60 leaders since Dec. 15

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Fantasy Insider

Sean Couturier has missed 12 of the Philadelphia Flyers' 42 games since Dec. 15, but that hasn't stopped him from producing close to a point per game when in the lineup.

Couturier (C, 6 percent owned in Yahoo) had a power-play assist and two shots on goal Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, giving him 25 points (five on power play), a plus-12 and 60 SOG in his past 30 games. He has been near the top of the charts in per-60 metrics among players with at least 30 games played in the span, ranking tied for 11th in assists per 60 minutes (2.00) and 32nd in points per 60 (2.63).

He has played on the Flyers' second line with mostly Sam Gagner and Michael Raffl of late, and is averaging more than two minutes per game on the power play in the aforementioned span.

Since returning from his most recent injury Feb. 23, the 23-year-old has taken on a heightened workload with 19:23 minutes per game, nearly a full minute more per game than his season average (18:27). His ice time per game in the past month is tied for Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning for 20th among centers.

Video: PHI@NYI: Gagner extends the lead on the doorstep

The Flyers are 9-3-2 since Couturier's return and are tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card in the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with one game in hand. Per Elias Sports Bureau, the Flyers are 30-15-9 in 54 games with Couturier in the lineup and 5-9-4 in 18 games without him.

In fantasy terms, he's ranked 389th in Yahoo's performance-based rankings for the season because of time missed with injuries but is just outside the top 100 (115th) based on his production in the past month (nine assists, 10 penalty minutes, three PPP and 26 SOG in 14 games). Though he hasn't scored a goal since Jan. 9 (20 games), he has 13 assists and 32 SOG in the drought, helping the Flyers make a serious push for the postseason.

The Flyers are tied for the second-most remaining games (10) in the League, meaning there's still a chance Couturier's shooting percentage could correct itself down the stretch and widen his already solid fantasy coverage.

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