Quarter Point of the Season
The Flyers have played 22 games now this season already which is over ¼ of the season. After watching the play this season here is the lineup that I would like to see sent to the ice by Peter Laviolette.
Zherdev – Giroux – Carter (this is a scoring line that Giroux could distribute the puck to either wing)
Hartnell – Briere – Leino (the best line the team has had in years – these 3 are dominant 5 on 5)
JVR – Richards – Nodl (a line to bang on other top lines and can still hurt you with some scoring)
Powe – Betts – Wellwood (a great energy line that can play regularly)
Extra Forward: Carcillo (Carcillo can fill in across the lines for short periods of time)
This gives the team 4 real lines that can play in all situations. Shelley can really only play a couple of minutes per game and really is not an NHL forward. I suggest sending Shelley to the AHL thru waivers and see if someone claims him. He also has played so little each game that his ability has a fighter has not really been showcased. Clear the money from the salary cap Homer. This would clear a pro-rated $1.1M from the books.
Ok no complaints here. The pairings are set and the guys are splitting the minutes very evenly. I would like to see Matt Walker play some games in the AHL and groom some younger guys. They should look to rotate Bartulis in against some of the lesser teams and keep him sharp. Again send Walker through waivers and clear the salary cap Homer. This would clear a pro-rate $1.7M from the books.
To all the people that did not like the Meszaros trade over the summer, this guy has quieted everyone down with his play. Maybe the teams he played on in Tampa Bay were the reason that his numbers looked bad. I know his cap number is high, but he is also capable of playing a lot more minutes if an injury occurred. He is a great insurance policy.
What about Bob? With Leighton coming back something has to give. Bobrofsky has been excellent and has earned a spot. Boucher has played solidly and is a great backup at this point in his career. So what to do with Leighton? The problem I see brewing is that there is only 1 net and 2 guys now that want to be the number 1 guy. Now I love good competition, but Laviolette has not shown that he can keep 2 goalies happy. He seems to just stay with the guy that is rolling. My suggestion for the crease is to keep Boosh with the team. His cap number is manageable (especially if you move Walker and Shelley) down. Leighton should be the backup to Bob until Bob proves that he cannot be the number 1 guy. Bobrovsky has shown that he has the something special that, while both Boosh and Leighton are solid, don’t have that head shaking ability that Bob seems to possess. If you disagree, just think about this situation. With a 1 goal lead against Pittsburgh or Washington, who do you feel better with in the net? I tend to lean toward Bobrovsky at this point. But Laviolette must rotate the guys through the net. You cannot play 12-15 games in a row. That leads to injuries. Avoid some back to back starts. Even work Boosh in for some starts. This would allow you the flexibility to possibly trade Boosh or Leighton at the deadline if needed.
Good Night and Good Hockey!
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BobHaynesJr