It is about time that Stevens started moving players around the Flyers lines. I have stated all summer that I believe that the Flyers should have 3 lines of talented pairs and a banger on each line. My early suggestions were the following:
Hartnell – Carter – JVR
Asham – Giroux - Briere
Gagne – Richards – Lapierre
Carcillo – Betts – Powe
The banger factor on every line gives balance to the lineup and allows all 4 lines to play regular shifts. Besides the fact is that Asham is a poor-man’s version of Mike Knuble, with talented players Aaron can play the game. Carcillo can really skate and with Betts and Powe (even Pyorala) can apply pressure all over the rink.
I also suggested splitting up the big 3 defenders across the 3 pairs with pairs:
Pronger – Parent
Timonen - Syvret (was Jones)
Coburn – Carle
Putting all the guys across 2 lines and 2 pairs will cause the team to wear down over this compressed season. Many of the Flyers best players will be playing during the break at the Olympics. This means even more, the Flyers have to play 12 forwards and 6 defensemen in every game. Remember the last Olympic season, the best teams were eliminated early and often by teams made up on non-Olympic rosters (that season ended in game 7 with Carolina beating Edmonton).
It is about time that Giroux takes a shootout attempt. The regular lineup for the Flyers should be Giroux, Briere and Richards. These are the best 3 the Flyers have in terms of hands. Carter and Gagne are shooters, not puck handlers. I would even like to see Pyorala take a few tries. He seems to have crazy stick handling skills. I also wouldn’t hesitate to see Timonen or Coburn take some attempts. What they have been doing for several years, has not been working. It is time to turn the solution upside down.