What Flyers Lines Should Look Like w/ Scott Laughton Back

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Mid-day on Thursday, the head coach Alain Vigneault announced Scott Laughton had been medically cleared. The Flyers official Twitter account then tweeted the update, stating Laughton will be available for Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

Scott Laughton re-entering the fold is a welcome addition. The Flyers have struggled mightily to ice consistent lines since the Laughton injury. Aside from the Couturier, Lindblom, Konecny line, Vigneault has jumbled lines almost every night. Now with that line broken up, everything seems to be fair game.

Let’s take a look at how these lines may shape up once Laughton returns to the ice.

The Fourth Line

The fourth line should be set. With the return of Laughton, the Flyers should be able to ice a formidable bottom line. Dave Isaac reports that Laughton may not be slotting back into his natural position just yet.

With Laughton playing wing, the Flyers are down to Michael Raffl or Andy Andreoff centering the fourth line. Raffl has filled in admirably, but Andreoff is more of a natural center. If Andreoff stays up with the Flyers, his best role is 4C with Raffl & Laughton on his wings.

The Third Line

This is where things get interesting. The middle six is the exact opposite of being “set in stone.” With so many moving parts, any three players could form a line, but a few have been struggling as of late.

Kevin Hayes, Jakub Voracek, and James Van Riemsdyk are all in the midst of some tough times. Voracek hasn’t scored a goal in 12 games, and is point-less in four straight. Hayes had an empty net goal last night, but went the previous 12 games without one, and previous 10 without a point. JVR has gone six games without a point, and seven since he last found the back of the net.

So what is there to make of these three struggling veterans?

The third line is going to have to consist of two of them. Hayes will have to center the third line if Vigneault wants to keep Couturier and Frost in the top six. Voracek hasn’t shown much as of late, and by default ends up on the third line wing. Oskar Lindblom is a great candidate to jumpstart that line and get some offensive production out of the struggling pair.

With Lindblom leading the team in goals with nine, it works well putting him with Voracek, given his affinity for passing. Hayes is great at protecting the puck with his big frame, Lindblom is great along the boards, this line could work, or at least could be the catalyst for Hayes and Voracek to return to form.

The Second Line

This may be unpopular opinion, but Van Riemsdyk is getting some quality opportunities that will lead to points. It’s only a matter of time. Pairing him with Sean Couturier at center and Joel Farabee on the opposite wing could really get him moving.

You have Farabee’s speed and relentless style of play, Couturier’s vision, and a big body in JVR who could park himself in front of the net. All the makings for a decent second line in the NHL.

JVR has went six games without a point and seven without a goal, but that could change by pairing him with Sean Couturier, fourth on the team in scoring, and young Farabee, who’s got a nose for the net. As long as JVR can stay onside…

The First Line

Is there any doubt as to who the first line should be made up of? Giroux has been moved back to wing. As a result, has looked rejuvenated. Just look at his four-point night against Carolina Thursday as proof. Konecny assisted on three goals as well, bringing his team-leading point total to 23.

Then there’s Morgan Frost.

Morgan Frost has looked every bit the part of an NHL forward. It’s only been two games, and expectations should remain tempered, but he’s looked great in those two games. One goal and one assist against Carolina, paired with his amazing goal against Sergei Bobrovsky (See below), gives him three points in his first two NHL games.

There’s absolutely no need to break up this line now that they’ve found their groove. Much like the Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny line just as recent as a week ago, this line has been dominant. As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

What would your lines look like with the return of Scott Laughton? Feel free to share them with us here at PSN in the comment section below, or on Twitter @PhiladelphiaSN or with myself, at @PodStreetBobb.

Mandatory Credit – © James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

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