The early part of the season has had its ups and downs for the beloved Flyers. We have seen some really good play coming from Travis Konecny and Oskar Lindblom. Other than those two, we have yet to see consistency throughout the lineup. This is my opinion as to how I would improve the Flyers lineup.
Time to get Frosty
Yes, it should be time to bring up Morgan Frost. He has four goals and five assists during a seven-game point streak, ten games overall in his professional career. With the uncertainty of Nolan Partick’s return, and Sean Couturier’s injury, the Flyers are in need of a center and Frost fits the bill. It is also time to get some youth up and see what they can do.
I’d also like to see German Rubtsov actually get to play with some of the playmakers. Rubtsov was tied with Frost as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms point leader at the time of his call up. We need to see if Rubtsov has more upside than a fourth-line center at this point in his career. If he is capable of shifting over to the wing, that is an option I would explore. Although Michael Raffl has had a really nice start to the season, I feel we have seen the best of him. I’d move him back to the fourth line and really try to solidify three scoring lines.
Here are the lines as I would have them:
Giroux, Hayes, Farabee. Lindblom, Couturier, Konecny JVR, Frost, Voracek Raffl, Rubtsov, Stewart/ Pitlick
Checking in on the Defense
So Fletcher made the major move that I would have pulled earlier when they recalled Phil Myers. Myers had a very good start to the season in both the AHL and NHL. There is one move that I feel has to be made for tomorrow’s game. Travis Sanheim needs to take a night off and focus on learning how to stay on his feet. To quote PSN’s, Eric Reese:
In the past two games, “Sanheim Down” has cost the Flyers one point. However, it also gave the Devils and the Maple Leafs a tie in regulation. The Devils walked away with one point, the Maple Leafs two. That can’t happen. The sloppiness of the defense has to be addressed, but how?
If I am Fletcher and Alain Vigneault, I am sitting Sanheim and putting Hagg back into the lineup. Hagg may not be the best defenseman on the team, but he is the most physical. The Flyers don’t have a defenseman who is ready to lay the big blow or punish the forwards for trying to forecheck besides Hagg. Plus you have to make a decision on Hagg and Sam Morin as neither are as good as Myers. Hagg goes back into the lineup to give Sanheim a spell. Here are the Dope’s defensive pairings:
Provorov, Myers Niskanen, Ghost Braun, Hagg
There it is, those are the changes I would make for now. While all this is playing out, I am working the phones for a defenseman that can help solidify the blue line. As for the Flyers, Tuesday night they host the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s time to get back to the win column.
Matt is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in Journalism. After College he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army where he was an Airborne Ranger and served with the famed 101st Airborne Division. RAKKASAN! When not at work you can find him coaching his son and daughter’s sports teams. Follow Matt, AKA the Delco Dope on twitter at https://twitter.com/delco_dope