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Flyers change lines again in search of elusive spark

Nov 7, 2013, 9:55 AM EDT

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 01: Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers instructs teammates Jakub Voracek #93 and Scott Hartnell #19 during a stoppage in play against the Washington Capitals on November 1, 2013 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Capitals went on to defeat the Flyers 7-0. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

If only the Philadelphia Flyers had acquired goaltender Steve Mason in January, they might have made the playoffs in the shortened campaign. If only they would provide him with some offensive support now, they’d have a far better record than 4-9-1.

The Flyers rank dead last in the NHL with an average of 1.57 goals per game. Obviously, they’ve already frequently mixed up their lines with limited success, but Flyers coach Craig Berube now seems to be trying to spark his team by putting them in familiar situations.

With that in mind Jakub Voracek has been reunited with Claude Giroux on the top line. Scott Hartnell is rounding out the unit, according to CSN Philly.

Voracek and Giroux had plenty of success last season, but Voracek has had a fair number of different linemates already this season. At the same time, this will be far from the first time the duo has played together in 2013-14 and nothing has broken Giroux out of his goal scoring drought.

In fact, Giroux’s inability to score in any situation is a microcosm of the Flyers’ problems. Ultimately, there’s only so much Berube can do to fix this.

“At some point, they need to start producing,” Berube said simply, although he’s still hopeful that the familiarity will help them this time around.

Speaking of familiar, Vincent Lecavalier will shift from the right wing back to center.

“I just wanted to get Vinny back in the middle,” Berube explained. “It gets him some freedom to skate a little bit more and get moving and just trying to create some offense five-on-five here.”

Lecavalier will play alongside Brayden Schenn and Matt Read.

The Flyers will try out these combinations against the New Jersey Devils tonight. The Devils have been shutout of back-to-back games, including their recent contest against Philadelphia, so this has the makings of a low-scoring game. While the Flyers will gladly take two points any way they can get them, at some point, their offense needs to show signs of thawing.

  1. ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    who was that yesterday that mentioned this? steelpenbucs? good call, sir, if you’re reading this. if Simmonds would turn on already, I bet your entire top line prediction plays out like you said.

    • jalumbo - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      The Flyers are horrible. How is Giroux working out for you? lmao. I love watching them lose games and listen to their announcers. They wouldn’t be able to get first round picks for Giroux. lmao

      • kastout11 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Giroux is still a great player. He certainly will not make excueses for his poor play, but I have to think his hand has not fully heeled yet. The Flyers will get it together, I hope. They have way to much talent to be playing as poorly as they are.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        oh, are the Flyers horrible? bold stand. strange nobody else has said that. you should go do color for NBCSN.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Nov 7, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        Wow and there’s no bias in that comment at all. Yeah Giroux hasn’t scored, but guess what? He’s never been a scorer… he’s a distributor. Now I’m not saying he’s playing close to his potential, but 7 assists in 14 games isn’t dreadful. The whole organization is struggling and the captain is leading the charge. But all it takes is one 4-5pt night and ppl move on.

        Giroux haters, like Crosby haters, come and go.

    • jalumbo - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      He is a “great player’? ased on what? You being a flyers fan? His stats do not indicate greatness. What is it the rest of us are missing? Great? lmfao. My God you guys are in a bad way. Great? Are you really Tony the Tiger?

  2. cofran2004 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    It’s deck chairs being shuffled on the titanic in order to avoid sinking at this point. And I hate to say that, because there’s a lot of good guys from the phantoms up there (i live in the area of adirondack).

    I really think holmgren needs to take a long run of a short ledge at this point. That may be the only thing that can save this team.

  3. cofran2004 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    It’s deck chairs being shuffled on the titanic in order to avoid sinking at this point. And I hate to say that, because there’s a lot of good guys from the phantoms up there (i live in the area of adirondack).

    I really think holmgren needs to take a long run off a short ledge at this point. That may be the only thing that can save this team.

  4. mclovinhockey - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    It has to be something internal. There is way too much talent and depth on this team to be scoring less than 3 goals a game.
    I really feel like the players lost their will. It seems like they just don’t want to play for the Flyers any more. Can’t just keep letting go of heart and hope that the talent plays like they should.

  5. valoisvipers - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Maybe PH should make a trade for Jagr as that seems to be the last time Giroux did anything. Another simpler solution would be to let Giroux get a taste of riding the pine bench for a couple of games and see if that will embarrass him enough to get going. Another thing to consider is to remove the C from his chest as maybe the weight of it is too much for him at his young age.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      that last part is right. Forcing G to be a captain didn’t work. it’s time they see that. just like Crosby tried to act like a tough guy against the Rangers, that’s not HIS game either, so they didn’t do so hot. If Crosby acts like the scorer/passer that he is, he’ll score/pass and they’ll keep winning games. Let G not worry about having to lead the team, and he won’t worry about having to lead the team, and they might start winning games. it seems simple, but i’m not Holmgren, sooo…..

      • jalumbo - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        I love the Pathetic Flyers fans, no shame. They suck so bad and all they do is trash talk about Crosby. How is Giroux working out for you? Deryk Engelland has as many goals as Giroux. lmao.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        in what way is that trash talk? I was simply stating theMost recent time I can remember a player trying to be a player that he’s actually not, and failing. It just so happened that it was Crosby last night.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        jadumbo Aa Pens fan you should be more worried about Malkin……He only has 3 goals in his last 19 games…..Also how is Neal doing in the Wiffle Ball League!

      • jalumbo - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        I never said I was a Pens fan. Hay ibbiddy bibbidy you missed the mark again. I am not a Pens fan by any means. I am merely pointing out the pattern you Flyers Fans follow. U suck, you say something about Crosby, Malkin etc…Talk about Giroux some more, I am having such a laugh today. Please don’t stop….

      • ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        well you missed the mark in that I never called you a pens fan…..
        you missed the mark as well in that my whole comment was about the state of Giroux’s game, it wasn’t ABOUT Crosby at all. was simply using a current reference.

        you’re clearly a child living in mommy’s basement. just crawl back under the covers before the monsters get you!

      • jalumbo - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Oh Ibster, getting b-slapped in an argument and you say that. You are a card. Remember close to 9mil for Giroux next season. Wow, he is going to get a lot of money for being a third or fourth line player. Can’t trade him right? Who would want him? Maybe Pronger will come back and play as a Cyclops. and help Giroux get another point or two. And Ibbidy, lose some weight.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        you clearly can’t read… because that was blackandorangeforlife that said that. it’s hard to “win” an argument with an idiot. he’ll never acknowledge that he’s an idiot.

      • jalumbo - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        I know it is hard to win an argument with an idiot but didn’t I just beat you? So it can be done. Ibby, you are the last hope for the Flyers, so don’t give up. Have a few more hoagies and bacon bits and you keep rooting for that pathetic team of yours. Is this really Claude? Or Mrs. Giroux?

      • jalumbo - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        Another great game by the Captain and the Flunkers, What a crap team. The NHL should send them to Europe, to stay. Europe needs a laugh too. No goals in 15 games…..what a streak he has going.

    • hockey412 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      So here’s an important question though as far as Giroux goes, is he not trying hard enough, or is he trying TOO hard? Because both scenarios will lead to zero goals.

      Pens fans see it every other year or so with Malkin. Tries to hard to do it himself (especially with his soulmate Neal out) and can’t score at all.

      • hockey412 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        *too hard, I mean. I hate that.

      • jalumbo - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        Here is our answer. Way way overrated and now it is starting to show. Can’t even trade him now, you wouldn’t even get minor leaguers of stature for him. So sit back and enjoy the FREAKING FLYERS FORMIDABLE FAILURE.

      • kastout11 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        He is definitely pressing. My concern is how poorly he is playing in his own end. I thinik I saw he as a -10 plus/minus. That is not Giroux numbers. He is starting to put together assists. I am not concerned with him putting the puck in the net. I think he is more a playmaker than a scorer. He needs to pick it up on both ends of the ice.

  6. sabatimus - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    What, that ridiculous beatdown festival you engineered in the 0-7 loss didn’t work?

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Days of Our Lives: Philly vs New Jersey

    Storyline: Will this be another low scoring affair? Will this be the game Giroux finally scores a goal? Will the Devils be shutout for a third game in a row?

    Find out tonight @ 7pm

  8. ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    how is that trash talk?

  9. antmel30 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Jalumbo I’ll just chalk u up as another clueless fan just riding the pens band wagging. U talk about giroux when malkin has 9 gm goalless streak. People talk about Crosby because he is a whiners and he’s cheap. Look at last night when he cheap shot Kreider. No one in philly denies his talent it’s his actions that get him talked about. Giroux will be fine. I remember same thing happened to ovi last year in Washington when Oates took over. I’m pretty sure he was playing horrific and had like 1 goal in 20 gms. Then he caught fire and wound up as MVP. People wanted to trade him last year. Streaks happen its part of sports. I love how they say giroux blows but I bet no one would complain if he got traded to your team. He is still getting assist so he is producing. His defensive gm is been horrible this year but he will get his goals.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      he’s a megatroll. can’t engage in actual conversation like a real adult. as I told pittpenz yesterday, time to turn the tablet back in to mommy, your daily hour is up!

    • jalumbo - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      There ya go, nothing positive to say about your own team except to say Giroux is at best streaky and at worst another over paid slob for the Flyers. How is Downie working out for you? He wanted to make an impression with the “Fighting Flyers”. The only impression is a fist valley in his face. Even Coatsie’s neck must have snapped back from that punch. Your team blows. Live with it.

  10. twinwildflyer - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    If you can’t see why Giroux is a great player, you clearly know nothing about hockey.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      correction: if you can’t remember why*

      even as a flyers fan, I’ll admit that if all you know of him is the last dozen games, he shouldn’t be considered a great player in your book.

      but two seasons of a point per game is no fluke. Giroux is in there… just needs to show up.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Giroux is not a top ten player in my book. I’d take these ten over any day of the week
        1) Crosby
        2) Malkin
        3) Ovie
        4) Stamkos
        5) Datsuyk
        6) Toews
        7) Kane
        8) Tavares
        9) Bergeron
        10a) Daniel Sedin
        10b) Henrik Sedin

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Well that comment got screwed up

      • ibieiniid - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        Bergeron? are you kidding me?

        BERGERON BEFORE THE SEDINS!? even worse.

  11. President Charles Logan - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Giroux has show flashes of greatness but he needs much better players playing alongside him on his line to be what he was 2 years ago.

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