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Tortorella on if Couturier will dress: 'I'm not talking about Sean'

Sean Couturier Sean Couturier - Getty Images

John Tortorella declined to address whether captain Sean Couturier will return to the lineup on Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes after spending their previous game as a healthy scratch.

"I'm not talking about Sean," Tortorella interjected midway through a question on what he'd need to see from Couturier if he dresses. 

Named captain on Feb. 14, Couturier was scratched for the Flyers' 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, along with veterans Cam Atkinson and Marc Staal.

“Obviously, he’s our captain … but we have a job to do and a game to play and we are in the thick of the playoff race right now, so our focus is on winning hockey games,” Travis Sanheim said post-game.

Couturier, who is signed through 2029-30 at a cap hit of $7.75 million, stated before the win that he had briefly spoken with Tortorella about the decision, but received little detail on where to improve.

"Somewhat, but it doesn’t matter honestly what I think," Couturier said. "Just gotta leave my ego aside, I guess, and hopefully the team finds a way to get a win here tonight, and I can get back into it soon."

​The 31-year-old Couturier has 11 goals and 36 points in 64 games this season, but has contributed just one assist in his past nine games. 

General manager Daniel Briere said the decision falls in line with Tortorella's mantra of treating all players the same, regardless of their status.

"I can tell you one thing - with John Tortorella, it doesn’t matter who it is. That’s what he’s known for. He treats everybody the same way," Briere said.

The Flyers continue to face pressure in the playoff race, as they enter play Thursday owning a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for third in the Metropolitan Division with one more game played.