The Philadelphia Flyers are struggling and head coach Dave Hakstol is looking for any sort of spark. Last week, he changed the lines prior to the team’s game against Tampa Bay. Philadelphia won 4-2 and things looked great.
Consecutive losses later and the Flyers are losing once again. Hakstol has decided to change up the lines once more at practice on Wednesday, according to Dave Isaac.
Raffl – Giroux – Konecny
Read/Cousins – Couturier – Voracek
Gordon/Weise – Schenn – Simmonds
VandeVelde – Bellemare –Lyubimov
It’s interested to see that Travis Konecny has moved up into first line, right winger alongside Claude Giroux. He’s played particularly well of late and has been doing well all season, despite some criticisms. That pairing could work well with Michael Raffl, one of the team’s best possession players.
Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek were made to play together and adding a physical, two-way game with some scoring upside in Nick Cousins could really balance out the line. Matt Read was taking the majority of reps with that line, however, on the left wing.
The Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, and Dale Weise line looks like it’ll be staying the same. The same goes for the fourth line as well. Weise has played particularly well since being paired with these two and they’ve been generating some chances.
And here’s what the blue line looks like with Mark Streit back in the fold.
Provorov – MacDonald
Del Zotto – Manning
Streit – Gudas
Schultz – Gostisbehere
Could Shayne Gostisbehere actually be a healthy scratch as the Flyers take on the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday? It could happen, given that he’s paired with Nick Schultz, who has been scratched and swapped in and out with Brandon Manning a few times.
If Streit is taken off LTIR and back in the lineup, there is a real possible chance Gostisbehere could be a healthy scratch on Thursday.
It looks like Hakstol will be sticking with his top pairing of Ivan Provorov and Andrew MacDonald, despite the struggle of the past few games. Michael Del Zotto will pair with Brandon Manning as Radko Gudas could slot with a healthy Streit, barring any roster moves.
It’s certainly an intriguing situation to see what the healthy scratches will look like as the Flyers take on one of the league’s bottom cellar dwellers. We’ll find out soon enough what the plan will likely be.
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Sons of Penn Radio (January 11th)
On this week of SOP Radio, we ring in the New Year with Wayne Simmonds the All-Star, dissect the problems of a struggling Flyers team, praise the play of the organization’s prospects, and look at the road ahead.