As the calendar turns and the Flyers close out one of the best Novembers in franchise history, they will look to carry their great play into the month of December. Recently, the Flyers third line has been helping to lead the charge. Flyers fans have reason to be optimistic about the play of this reunited third line.
What’s it like to be a third-line forward in the NHL? It means being a player who is bringing energy to the team and generating scoring chances with grit and hustle. Usually, they are the players that have a lunchpail mentality, meaning they are going to outwork your opponent. Also, they can be the defensive forwards who are called upon to shut down the opponent’s top scorers. Scott Laughton embodies this role.
Laughton Being Back Creates Energy
Since his return, the third line of Laughton, Kevin Hayes and Joel Farabee has been producing. Laughton has two goals and an assist in his last five games. Hayes has scored a few goals and has gotten off the schneid as of late. He and Farabee both have four points in the last five games. There has been chemistry between these three players prior to Laughton’s injury. Laughton stated the following regarding the chemistry with his linemates:
“I thought honestly before the injury in that game in Chicago I thought we had a pretty good game and Farbs scored a couple of goals that got disallowed, but I don’t know I think we work pretty well together. Haysie is a big body in the middle that distributes pucks and makes things happen and Farbs is a really smart, dynamic player. So [Laughton is] trying for a check as hard as I can and create energy and a couple of loose pucks for those guys. But it’s been a lot of fun lately, and those guys can make plays. So it’s, it’s been a fun line to play on.”
Laughton brings high energy and his presence has been felt. His first goal of the season was a complete line play against Detroit last week. Hayes made a nice pass from behind the net to Farabee on the right side. Farabee then made a sensational pass across the middle for a tap in goal from Laughton. Laughton scored the first goal of the next game in Columbus, a breakout pass led to a breakaway that Laughton converted.
Laughton stated the following about his production, “Yeah, that felt nice to produce a little bit especially early on in that game and to come back at home and to produce. I don’t know [I’m] just to get my legs under me the first couple of games and then to be able to be better with the puck and stick handling and things like that still coming back to me but still a work in progress.”
Farabee is Back Bringing Offense
Farabee has not scored a goal since November 5th, however, he has four assists in the last five games. He is using his legs and hustle to create opportunities. Did I mention that fantastic pass to Laughton? Ok, here it is:
Farabee has yet to have a multi-point game. When asked about how he deals with some of the scoring lows he has gone through, Farabee stated the following:
“I’m in a role where, as a third liner, you know, not every night, you’re going to get points. It’s just not how it works. But, you know, as long as we’re good defensively and, helping the team in any way that we can, I think it’s a good good thing. So I think, I think as a line we’re not too worried about points. I think if we go even in a game and then our top two lines, you know, put the puck in the net, that’s a really good game and that’s what coach wants us to do. So I think We just got to be consistent. We can’t get too high and we can’t get too low. So I think we just stay consistent keep playing the way we know how to play. I think you know, success will come.”
Hayes Scoring is What The Flyers Need
Hayes has seemingly gotten his offensive game going. After going through a span of ten games where he didn’t score a point, he now has three goals and an assist in his last four games. Hayes appeared to lose some confidence for a bit and failed to shoot the puck. That seems to be over now as he had an absolute laser against Montreal for his 100th career goal.
Hayes spoke about the challenge Toronto will bring Tuesday Night. “They’re a great team. They have elite players on that team. [Toronto’s] forward there might be the best in the league. You gotta play the right way defensively. You got to attack their weaknesses and I’m sure we’ll watch the film tomorrow at the rink and figure out what that is. They’re fun to play there, they make you bring your best.”
The third line’s play will be essential in the Flyers’ success. Whether it is a more defensive role, or producing secondary scoring, they will be relied upon to provide energy when needed. Next up, the Flyers face Toronto Tuesday night and we will see if the third line production will continue.
Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports