Predicting the Philadelphia Flyers’ Top Two Offensive Lines
With the Philadelphia Flyers‘ 2013-14 season fast approaching and a roster (almost) set in stone, it’s safe enough to start the guessing game of predicting the Flyers’ offensive groupings. The recent addition of Vincent Lecavalier will be a welcomed presence that should mix up the lineups from last season.
At the top line, its hard to argue against Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell. Giroux is established himself as a powerhouse during the 2011-2012 season when he scored 93 points in 77 games. During the lockout-shortened season last year, Giroux tallied 48 points in 48 games, leading the team.
Voracek emerged as a rising star in an otherwise gloomy Flyers season last year, notching 46 points in 48 games, including 22 goals. He no longer hesitates to shoot the puck, and his offensive abilities have increased because of it.
Hartnell scored just 11 points throughout his injury-riddled 2012-2013 season after a 37-goal 2011-2012 season. Nevertheless, Hartnell has shown he’s got great chemistry with Giroux when healthy. The 31-year-old should return in top form this season, creating a dangerous third line.
Lecavalier will be making $4.5 million next season. At this price, its unlikely GM Paul Holmgren acquired Lecavalier to play on the third or fourth line. He’s an incredibly talented veteran center who will improve those he plays with. With that in mind, I expect the second line to consist of Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and Lecavalier.
Schenn has yet to emerge as the star many expect him to be. He’s struggled with injuries and consistency, but he’s always played aggressively and with passion. Simmonds plays with equal tenacity, and his scoring touched improved last year as he registered 32 points in 45 games. The leadership and skill Lecavalier could bring to both young players would be priceless, and his presence could finally lead to a breakout year for Schenn.
Both lines have outstanding offensive potential, particularly the first line. Voracek and Giroux have shown their chemistry, and a healthy Hartnell could only propel the duo. On the second line, Lecavalier is poised to improve the play of his younger counterparts. Whatever the lineups may be, the Flyers have improved on all fronts during the offseason, a fact that should have Flyers fans (more) excited for the upcoming season.