Philadelphia Flyers: Opening Weekend Mailbag

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Two games, two losses.

Not exactly the start the Philadelphia Flyers were hoping for. On Sunday afternoon, the Flyers were defeated for the second straight game, this time by the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. Many fans have some questions regarding their beloved orange and black, and I (hopefully) have those answers.

Bunny Miller via Facebook: Who gets sent back down to the AHL when Briere comes back? Laughton is performing well. Do they keep him and send down Shelley or Sestito? Or do they save that year of his entry level contract by only letting him play the 5 games?

AP: I have really liked what I’ve seen out of Laughton. The 18-year old isn’t afraid to play physical, finishes his checks and attacks the net hard. Having said that, I honestly think he deserves to stay on this team. He has always been a defensive minded player, an area in which the Flyers still need some work. With Zac Rinaldo leaving the game early with a lower body injury, it’ll be interesting to see who gets sent down.

Mike Larson via Facebook Is Brayden Schenn a good fit on the line with Giroux and Hartnell?

AP: While I definitely haven’t been impressed with Schenn through the first two contests, I do believe he is a good fit on the first line. Schenn matches the gritty play of fellow linemates Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. Many assumed that Jakub Voracek would play alongside Giroux on that first line, but Giroux needs a shooter next to him. Voracek is the definition of pass first, often even passing too much.

Chris Brandy Ligon via Facebook: What do they have to do to get this short season going In the right direction?

AP: I have stressed this all weekend. It’s not Ilya Bryzgalov that is behind the Flyers recent struggles. It’s special teams, and it’s really not close. Through two games, the Flyers have allowed five goals on nine penalty kills. That just simply cannot happen. On the other end, with weapons that should establish them as one of the most feared powerplay units in hockey, the Flyers are just 1-9 on the man advantage so far. Many players feel they just aren’t getting the bounces, but the numbers don’t lie.

Lindsey Michelle Glenn via Facebook: Why must they continue to dump and chase the puck when it’s clearly not working?

AP: Interesting question here. The Flyers have clearly been known to implement a dump and chase game plan very often. However, it won’t be effective unless the forwards provide a heavy, aggressive forecheck. That hasn’t been happening, as many players are still trying to get their legs under them. The reason I believe they continue to dump and chase is their lack of puck-moving defenseman. Other than Kimmo Timonen, the Flyers really don’t have a consistent guy to move the puck into the offensive zone.

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