Here’s what the team rolled out during their pregame skate on Monday.
Michael Raffl – Valtteri Filppula – Jake Voracek
Healthy Scratch: Jori Lehtera
It’s a must-needed change in a desperation move to try and get some offense going. The Flyers are struggling and their top line of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Jake Voracek has finally been broken up. Wayne Simmonds, who has been struggling, will play alongside Giroux and Couturier on the top line. Simmonds and Couturier have had some success in the past together, but we’ll see what happens and if there are any chemistry issues to start the game.
With Simmonds moving to the top line, Voracek will get time with Valtteri Filppula and Michael Raffl. Both forwards have struggled this season, but Raffl has played better of late, getting more physical and being more active in the offensive zone. Putting him with a player who is strong with the puck like Voracek makes some sense, but it’ll be interesting to see how Hasktol dictates playing time and whether or not he could reunite the top line if things go wrong late in regulation.
It looks like Dale Weise or Jordan Weal will be alternating as the third line winger and it may be a game-time decision before all is said and done. Whichever forward plays on the third line, the other will play on the fourth line. Hakstol has decided to give Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny another go, and giving them Weise as a winger will reunite the third line from earlier in the season. Konecny and Patrick showed a ton of chemistry early on, but Weise held them down. It’ll be interesting to see whether of not the two young forwards can muster up scoring chances without another speedy winger.
Taylor Leier will make his return to the lineup after sitting for the previous games. He’ll play alongside Scott Laughton, who he’s had success with killing penalties and on the fourth line, and either Weal or Weise.
The Flyers are doing everything they can to change their luck and stop turning everything they touch ‘into shit’ like Voracek said after the loss on Saturday. Hakstol is grasping at straws, but it may be the only thing left he can do. Puck drop is set for 9 p.m. in Calgary.
Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images
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