The Philadelphia Flyers are experiencing some uncharacteristic struggles on offense to start the 2013 campaign. Philadelphia currently ranks 25th in the league in goals per game, resulting in a disappointing record of 2-5. With this year being just 48 games long, head coach Peter Laviolette believes that it is time to shake things up.
Come Friday evening, veteran Danny Briere will be joining Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds on the team’s first line, hoping that the switch will result in a win against the Washington Capitals. While Matt Read has been playing very well on the first line, it appears to be time to switch things up, a common theme throughout an NHL season. Laviolette feels that Briere is a great fit on the team’s number one unit.
“I think it’s a nice complement,” Laviolette said. “One sees the ice really well, and one can put the puck in the back of the net really well. I think a lot of players might enjoy playing with Claude [Giroux] too, because he does see the ice and is able to make a lot of plays. So when you’ve got somebody who’s a natural goal-scorer like Danny, it’ could be a good fit.”
Briere was easily the best offensive player the Flyers had during Tuesday night’s loss to the New York Rangers. He saw over 23 minutes of ice time, took 10 shots (somebody had to) and seemed to be the main guy setting up offense for the Flyers. The injury to his wrist is no longer an issue, as Briere finally returned to the faceoff circle as well.
Giroux and Briere will be terrific together. Chemistry won’t be an issue whatsoever, seeing as the two not only have played together for years in the United States and Europe, but also lived together for quite some time. And Wayne Simmonds? Well, the way he has been playing this season, you won’t have to worry about him.
With the plethora of young, offensive talent on the Flyers roster, it’s only a matter of time before the offense catches fire. Let’s just hope it starts Friday night in Washington.