Right from the start of training camp I have not liked the results of the top line of the Flyers. The trio of Briere, Richards, and Gagne have been great, but the results on the rest of the team have been devastating. Without a third top quality centerman, the 3rd line became bad and thus canceling the depth of the top 9 forwards on the Flyers. I am very glad to see the changes coming for tonight's game versus the Sharks. I personally have almost not noticed Briere with the puck during the season. He makes great plays still, but he is more of a goal scoring threat from the middle. My suggestion is to move Briere back to the middle and put Downey and Gagne on his wings. The kid has a huge upside and let's see him with some quality minutes and talented players. Carter, Knuble and Upshall have been a quality line so far. That would put Richards with Lupul and Hartnell. Another top quality line. That moves Metropolit to the 4th line where he can be an efficient force. Without the 3rd center, the Flyers have fought to control the puck for long stretches. Richards, Carter and Briere all control the puck well so distributing them throughout the lineup makes the most sense.
On defense the problem is the players are not playing within the system. The forwards are too far from the defense and the gap between is allowing too much time. They need to forecheck and play the defensive system to create turnovers and score off the rush.