Flyers Weekly Mailbag: What would the lines look like with Nolan Patrick injured?


The Flyers are back in town. Let’s get this party started. The orange and black continue their pre-season tilts, and some prospects have stood out from the rest. For instance, Joel Farabee, German Rubtsov, Morgan Frost (Before injury), Philippe Myers, Carter Hart (Second year), and Maksim Sushko. However, some Vets have stood out, as well, like Kevin Hayes, Jakub Voracek, JVR, Justin Braun, and Chris Stewart looks confident. Hopefully, they continue to impress before the regular season gets underway shortly in Prague. Without further delay, here are our answers to your questions.

Alain Vigneault has stated he wants to use an uptempo system. This will correlate from a defensive first system, that transitions well, offensively. Vigneault wants active sticks. He wants his defensemen to jump into the rush when given the opportunity. This will not only help transitioning out of the defensive zone cleanly, but the hope is to speed up the offense.

First and foremost, from the board battling drills, transitioning drills from the offensive to defensive zones, skating from end to end of the ice during practices. Vigneault wants to have this team well-conditioned for his uptempo system. In addition, these type of drills that are currently being conducted at camp, are unlike any other drills that people have witnessed from the past few seasons.

Vigneault wants the Flyers to become tighter with gap control, thus standing players up at the blue line. Justin Braun has been excellent in this area. When was the last time that anyone saw this from our defencemen? Vigneault wants it to make it difficult for opponents to enter the defensive zone.

While performing better on the defensive side of the puck. Vigneault also wants clean exits from the defensive side of the puck, to help transition to the offensive side of the puck smoothly. He wants his players to make minimal mistakes with bad passes, forcing passes to include bad decision making. If either of those fail it may lead to being pinned in their own end, thus giving the opponents more puck possession. Puck possession is the biggest key of success for the Flyers, on the offensive side of the puck.

One would immediately think an “Upper Body Injury” that is not shoulder, would ultimately be a concussion. Honestly, I do not know if it is indeed a concussion-related injury. The Flyers are mum on this one, for good reason.

I will say Patrick has looked good while working out, and he is skating at a very high speed at the Skate Zone. However, in the event he cannot play in the season opener the lines could look like:

G, Couts, TK

JVR, Hayes, Voracek

Lindblom, Laughton, Farabee

Raffl, Rubtsov, Pitlick/NAK

Let’s not forget. Raffl can also play Center if need be. The Flyers are a versatile bunch. Fortunately, Fletcher signed Hayes, or else the Flyers would really be in a pickle if Patrick was unable to go on the season opener.

I believe the Flyers will contend for a top-three spot in the Metropolitan Division, and make the second round of the playoffs. In addition, I project the Flyers point total for the season to be 102. The Flyers are more defensively sound this season, and the addition of Kevin Hayes is a good one.

The Flyers special teams as a whole will be far better this season, and ultimately that plays a factor into my point total. Lastly, Carter Hart will be between the pipes for the entire season. A good Goaltender can steal games, and really have a calming effect on the players.

The only information the Flyers have given to the media is he is week-to-week with a “lower-body injury.” They did not get into the specifics of his injury.

Most people believe (Myself included) that Alex Lyon will be the starter for the Lehigh valley Phantoms, at least to start the season. The thoughts of Lyon being placed on waivers really hasn’t crossed my mind. He also has had a solid preseason.

Scott Gordon will only carry two goalies for the Phantoms, as he explained to the press last week. J.F. Berube, and Kirill Ustimenko could end up playing with the Reading Royals because of such. Chuck Fletcher wanted to make sure he had enough quality depth within the system, to prevent last year from happening again on the Goaltending side of things.

The depth at the Goaltending position within the system leads back to great drafting by Ron Hextall, and Fletcher with the addition of Roddy Ross. Most of all, Hextall did a phenomenal job of selecting quality goaltenders. With that in mind, it also leads back to great scouting and drafting the best player available.

I do believe the JVR, Hayes, Voracek line will stay intact for the season opener. Some lines are really starting to take shape now, and this line looked really good in-game action. They made it seem like they have played together for years. AV really liked what he saw from that line (Chemistry wise), and that will be enough to keep this line intact to start the season.

The Flyers like what Chris Stewart has brought to the table in the pre-season thus far. For his efforts, he has had a solid camp. I believe they could sign him to a two-way contract for one year, and bring him on as the 13th Forward.

Stewart provides energy, and he can pot a goal here or there. He really would protect our assets in a big way. If a player takes a run at Giroux, then Stewart would have his number for sure. Stay tuned to see if he earns a contract or not.

Robert Hagg could be used as trade bait before the season begins. I believe the Flyers will carry eight defensemen in the event that he cannot be moved. Injuries occur, and really anything can happen. At this time, I think Samuel Morin is the seventh defenseman for the Flyers.

The Flyers like what Chris Stewart has brought to the table in the pre-season thus far. For his efforts, he has had a solid camp. I believe they could sign him to a two-way contract for one year, and bring him on as the 13th Forward.

Noah says thank you to everyone that supported him for breaking the news when Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov both signed. I will defend him and say his sources knew 2 hours in advance before Provorov signed that a deal was going to get done that night. He came through big time.

If you would like to see your questions submitted in our weekly mailbag. Just submit your question on our Facebook page or on Twitter using #Flyersmail. Thanks to all the fans for another great mailbag, and Let’s go Flyers. Without your support, we wouldn’t be here today.

Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports