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After 0-2 start, Flyers shuffle the deck

Jan 22, 2013, 1:38 PM EDT

Peter Laviolette AP

Following season-opening losses to Buffalo and Pittsburgh — in which they scored just three goals — the Philadelphia Flyers are shaking up their lines in advance of Tuesday’s game in New Jersey. (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Here’s what head coach Peter Laviolette has come up with, courtesy Philly.com:

* Claude Giroux centering Scott Hartnell and Jake Voracek. Voracek has replaced Brayden Schenn on the top line.

* Sean Couturier centering Ruslan Fedotenko and Matt Read.

* Schenn centering Tye McGinn and Wayne Simmonds. Schenn and McGinn were linemates with the AHL Phantoms this season.

* Scott Laughton centering Max Talbot and Eric Wellwood.

The least familiar name is probably McGinn’s, Philly’s fourth-round selection at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He’s a big kid — 6-foot-2, 205 pounds — that showed some good scoring touch in Adirondack this season, posting 15 points in 33 games.

Hartnell, one of the veteran presences of the group, said he understood why Laviolette was altering his lines just two games into the season.

“We’re looking for a little bit of a spark,” he said. “It’s not like we weren’t getting chances, but I think switching things up will get everyone a fresh start.”

  1. thecheeman - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Captain Giroux: “Get Schenn off my line”

  2. jpelle82 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    nothing about this lineup would scare me, no matter how you shuffle it. if they are banking on hartnell putting up 30+ goals again, well thats a pipe dream and probably gonna see a drop off from read too in his sophmore campaign. schenn looks terrible already. also, was fedotenko brought in to replace jagr?…i dont see him being 3rd on the team in scoring like jagr was. love the laviolette monkey photo though…

    • biasedhomer - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Fed was brought in to replace Schenn on the 3rd line.

      And Hartnell doesn’t need to put up 30 goals to be a great player.

    • biasedhomer - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      BTW its been 2 games. For the first 2 weeks of last season, Hartnell was one of the worst players in the NHL.

    • odj810 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      why the hate on hartnell. I’m a diehard bruins fan but how can you not like the way he plays? the flyers will be fine. throw briere in there lineup and they have amazing forward talent.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        Its just Pens fans consistently trolling on every Flyers page and trying to drum up concern that the Flyers have no ability to recover. Even if the Flyers lose tonight I’m not concerned. Still 45 games to gel. Flyers started 3-7-1 during last shortened season and went on to win Atlantic, it’s not unheard of.

  3. steelpenbucs87 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    I actually made a comment in an earlier post that I thought shuffling the lines would do more harm than good – not letting the team settle in an develop chemistry.

    Perhaps the most perplexing line two me is the second line – seems to me like it doesn’t really have an identity with the two athletic youngsters playing with the much slower vet.

  4. digbysellers - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    They’ll be pulling at straws all season long…not going to be Philly’s year. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, while the two losses this season hasn’t been his fault, they’ll never win with Bryz. He’s a product of Tippet’s system in PHO before he signed in PHL and he’s just not that good. No Stanley Cups as long as he’s there as much as it pains me to say.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      No matter how Bryz plays, they have no defense. It’s like the upper half of a body builder sitting on a 5 year old’s legs.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      That Bobrovsky kid is lookin’ pretty good, though.

  5. tcclark - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    The fact that Danny Briere has been out, has been completely ignored. Not only is he an outstanding offensive player and leader in the locker room, but as soon as he comes back he will fix many of the problems with this team. First, the lines. The lines will go back to being as projected:
    Hartnell-Giroux-Voracek
    Simmonds-Briere-Schenn
    Talbot-Couturier-Read
    Fedotenko-Rinaldo/Laughton-Wellwood

    Those lines make much more sense than the ones we’ve been seeing. He also helps fix the powerplay. Right not the Flyers have loaded everyone up on one powerplay line which was fine when they had Briere and Jagr on the second unit. You can’t score with just one good line. That’s why teams split their players up (MalkinlCrosby, Toews/Kane, Datsyuk/Zetterberg) When Briere comes back you balance out the Powerplay and now you have ten guys with the opportunity to score rather than just five.

    • killerpgh - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      Malkin and Crosby both play on the top PP

      • tcclark - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        I should’ve clarified there. I was comparing loading up on 5-on-5 to loading up on the powerplay. Teams split their best players up on five on five (Crosby/Malkin, Toews/Kane, Datsyuk/Zetterberg) so why shouldn’t you split them on the powerplay? Loading up two good powerplay units, is better than loading up one great one. At least, in my opinion

      • killerpgh - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        It depends on how the team is made up. If you have the players you can make 2 equal PP units. The Penguins (and most teams) don’t. They only have 1 James Neal and 1 Kris Letang. So instead of having 1 above average pp and 1 below average PP they max out the first with Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Letang and Kuntiz. PP minutes are “easy” minutes for the most part since most of the time is spent in the offensive zone. Playing 1:30 of a PP isn’t to much to ask if your team can keep possession for 1 minute of that 1:30.

      • tcclark - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:20 PM

        I agree, but in Philadelphia’s case, or any team with a more balanced scoring approach, having two Powerplays capable of scoring makes the chances of scoring that much greater. If you load up one line and that line isn’t clicking that night, you don’t have much to fall back on. Having two capable powerplay units not only allows you to fall back on your second unit if the first unit isn’t clicking, but it also causes the PK to have to plan for two different units with potentially two different styles of play.

    • digbysellers - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      No, it hasn’t been ignored around here in Philly one bit…they mention it all the time. Plus, it’s been out there on TSN and other respected shows as well. He will fix many of hte problems with the team? Like what, the defense having holes? Like what, when Bryz goes looney tunes sometime during the season? That doesn’t make sense. And thank you for explaining why teams split their players up on the PP. After the little Danny fixes all comment I tuned out for the rest.

      • tcclark - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:15 PM

        Three big problems with the team right now are scoring, powerplay, and penalty kill. Bryz has been ok so far and the defense has not been nearly as bad as people were making it out to be. Danny clearly helps with scoring, and as i mentioned before, helps make the lines make more sense. Danny Briere as your second line center is much better (offensively) than Sean Couturier as your second line center at this point in their careers. he also helps balance out the powerplay, giving them 2 units with the ability to put the puck in the net. He also helps reduce the minutes and responsibility put on the penalty killers which can/should help them focus on killing penalties, rather than having to focus on scoring as much.

        Danny Briere is by no means, a “fix all” kind of player, but he is an important piece to this offense. i don’t know what i said to piss you off so much, but you probably should have read further.

  6. puckmepuckyou - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Philly banked hard on signing some big name and are now just waiting for summer to make a big FA deal. Gonna be tough to replace all the goals traded away recently but on the bright side Mat Carle’s coughing up deep in our zone won’t hurt this year. Tough season but they can do it.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      Yeah – about that. It seems they’re handling their give-aways by committee for now…in two games, the defense has 8 giveaways.

      Forwards have 8 also, but 4 of those are Hartnell’s. I like him on your team : )

      Carle has 1 giveaway in two games played.

      Your battleship = sunk.

      • matthewmacisaac - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        The season is just starting and Carle hasn’t quite warmed to the task. write again at the end of March when he’s averaging 4/game. I want to see how much you’re in love with him then (at $5mil/year those still are expensive turnovers, you’d think they would taste better, but they don’t)

      • killerpgh - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        Last year Carle had 55 give-a-ways and played 1,887:41 minutes. Luke Schenn had 58 give-a-ways and only played 1,266:47 minutes. Schenn had more give-a-ways and played less than 2/3 of the minutes.

  7. islesjb - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    How does he feel to be at the bottom of that standings looking up at the big bad Islanders?!?!?!? #straightTrolling

    • kellyb9 - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      Feels a lot like we’re only two games into the season.

  8. franchisethighs - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Who knew you could pack so much filthy trash onto 4 lines. Limp wrist Giroux is having trouble keep fartsmells hair off of his groin.

  9. orpiksdeadeyes - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    what this team should do is invest some time and money on some hair straighters so they can look more like the undefeated eye candies Letang and Neal, and less like chicken flavored Ramon noodles.

  10. bigbadbruins77 - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    about to be 0-3 tonight :D

  11. arejaye57 - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    call me crazy, but, I’d like to see Simmonds play with Giroux and Hartnell on the first line. He has been playing pretty well, and could help put a big body in front of the net for them.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      Simmonds and Hartnell played on the same PP last season and wreaked havoc in front of the net. Simmonds def deserves more ice time but Lavy likes to spread his grit out, so I don’t see him moving him in place of Voracek.

  12. miketoasty - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    To me it looks like the Flyers have just given up too much talent over the years. Right now they are banking on some young players that they made big trades for to develop into great players but the problem is that doesn’t always happen. Look at Schenn (The forward) who for I don’t know how many years now but has been touted as being one of the best prospects out there. Well he is now 23 and doesn’t look any better than the year he was drafted. Some of these guys need to start stepping up or it’s going to be a long year for the Flyers.

    • flyersamb - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Schenn is 21 dude, just got drafted a few years ago and has not even played a full season in the NHL yet… get your facts straight

    • azzurri37 - Jan 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      Two games in, lol…Everyone was asking who was going to score goals last season too claiming they gave up too much talent and their forward lines were weak. They finished what, second in the league for goals?? Losing Jagr and JVR is certainly not going to be great but some other players need to step up a little is all…worst case scenario you minus Jagr and JVR’s points from last year and they still finish in the top 10…and flyersamb is right, Schenn doesn’t turn 22 until August, he had some injury problems last year and then had a pretty good playoffs. I’m not worried about him but it seems like everyone (that isn’t a Flyers fan) is. Keep in mind also that both Voracek and Simmonds outscored both of the guys they got traded for last year so I think we’ll be just fine.

      • miketoasty - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        You could have used some scoring last night, just saying.

  13. steelers88 - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    The problem I think with the Flyers is that they are relying on players that aren’t proven yet. Sure Briere is out but once he comes back it won’t help he cant carry the team by himself. Jakoub Voracheck, Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell, Max Talbot, and Brayden Schenn all had great years last year but that doesn’t count for this year. I think the Flyers are putting all their eggs in one basket and it might blow up in their face. Sometimes relying on young players is not always good. Also Giroux needs to start playing like a captain he needs to start scoring goals.

    • schapley18 - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      Ummm he has two goals in two games…what more do you want from him?!

      • azzurri37 - Jan 22, 2013 at 6:05 PM

        Wow, it’s amazing how many people on this site chirp about the Flyers and clearly know nothing about the team…or have watched a game for that matter. I guess Giroux should have 10 goals right now. Keep watching the Pens steelers88.

  14. mafmvp - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Filthy should call up Manti Te’os girlfriend, she would be their 2nd leading point getter right now. I love that coach Lavy is in full panic mode already, while coach bylsma is out buying a new gold watch

  15. Nofoolnodrool - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Not a flyer fan, but geez after two games relax still plenty of time…as pens fan I would caution our fans to chill it makes eating crow a little easier…

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      More Pens fans should use logic like you. Most of Pittsburgh was planning for the parade after the great regular season last year, but it never came. It’s been two games and again Pens fan are awarding themselves the Cup.

  16. denisob - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Lance Armstrong knows all about eating Crow(e).
    2 Games in Briere is out Bryz looks respectable lots of hockey left. If they could just show up in the first period it would help a lot.

    • schapley18 - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      I agree they definately need to show up in the first period. This has been their achilles heal ever since Lavy took over in 2010.

  17. philly4lyfe - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    giroux actually has a goal in each game so far…

  18. phillyfanmatt - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    It’s 2 games. Any team can start hot and cool down or start cold and heat up. What will the comments look like tomorrow IF and remember I said IF they go out and say win tonight like 4-1. Some will say it’s all fixed now. Still others will say they got lucky. No sport can be judged on how a season will go after only 2 games. Everyone needs to stop acting like it can.

  19. orangeandblack67 - Jan 22, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Steelers88 “Giroux needs to start playing like a captain he needs to start scoring goals”??? Really? How many goals does Pens captain have???

  20. steelers88 - Jan 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Wow this game is PHI/PIT all over again.

  21. steelers88 - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Pretty sure Hartnell just left his feet to NJ player. Talk about James Neal being dirty.

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