Flyers scratching Sean Couturier 34 days after making him the captain

The Philadelphia Flyers are scratching their captain on Tuesday night.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers
Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Flyers are trying hard to hang onto their playoff spot. It has been slipping away and they are in the hardest stretch of games that they'll have this season.

It has been a surprisingly good season but John Tortorella wants to make the playoffs after all of the good that they have done.

On Tuesday, we learned of his very risky decision to give Sean Couturier the night off. He is being healthy scratched. This decision comes 34 days after Couturier was named to be the captain of the team.

He is also the highest-paid player on the entire roster. They have a lot of stock invested in him and he is being healthy scratched now.

The Philadelphia Flyers are scratching their captain on Tuesday night

Couturier returned this season after missing a lot of time due to injury. Some wondered if he'd ever play again but he proved that he was still an NHL player this year. With all of that money and term left on his deal, the Flyers are lucky.

He is 31 years old so he isn't old by hockey standards yet but he isn't young either. The balk half of his $7.75 million contract may not age well but they are looking for him to continue playing well in the early stages of it.

So far this season, Couturier has 11 goals and 25 assists for 36 points in 64 games played. His offense might not be where it once was but his two-way game still seems to be holding up which was always his strength anyway.

John Tortorella has been given his praise this season and rightfully so. This team was expected to be horrible and they are on the playoff bubble with under a month to go.

However, this feels like a rotten decision. Couturier is the captain and he hasn't played bad enough to be out of the lineup. He hasn't even really been bad at all.

They are also going to be without him against the Toronto Maple Leafs who have superstar centers that they can use on the ice all game lone. Without Couturier, it is going to be even harder to defend those guys.

It also sounds like Couturier is very down about this decision. You can tell by his locker room visit that he isn't thrilled with this and he thinks he deserves to be with his team.

We can only hope that this is something that lasts one game and Couturier doesn't have to deal with it ever again. We also have to hope that this doesn't strain the relationship between the captain and coach.