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Final Roster Set for Flyers Home Opener

All NHL teams were required to finalize their rosters today in preparation for tomorrow’s opening games across the league.

There aren’t too many surprises on the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening roster, but their line and pairing placement is interesting.

First Line: Scott Hartnell / Claude Giroux / Brayden Schenn

Brayden Schenn started his rookie season in the NHL with a broken foot and didn’t score his first goal until the Winter Classic. He went on a tear to finish the second half of the season, ending with 12 goals and 18 points. His latest stint with the Phantoms also placed him in the top 10 in the AHL.

It will be interesting to see just how much of a factor Jaromir Jagr was on the top line’s success last season. Schenn certainly isn’t a Jagr-type player, but he won’t be out of place.

Second/Third Lines: Max Talbot / Sean Couturier / Jake Voracek ; Matt Read / Scott Laughton / Wayne Simmonds

The second line and third lines are somewhat interchangeable. There really isn’t a set “shutdown” line as much as there are two lines with defensive players and goal scorers.

Scott Laughton’s inclusion in the line-up makes sense while Danny Briere is out with a hairline fracture in his wrist, but I would have liked to see him start the season on the fourth line. Sean Couturier didn’t develop into a shutdown center overnight, and neither will Laughton.

Fourth Line: Ruslan Fedotenko / Eric Wellwood / Zac Rinaldo

Again, I would have switched Rusty with Laughton, but that’s just my humble (and unrequested) opinion. Between all three, this fourth line brings speed, tenacity and a goal scoring touch (with Fedotenko). It’s certainly versatile on paper.

Healthy Scratched Forwards: Jody Shelley, Tom Sestito

First Defensive Pairing: Nicklas Grossmann / Braydon Coburn

This is the Flyers’ strongest pairing at the moment. Both are capable of being elite shutdown defensemen, while Coburn’s offensive abilities are above average.

Second Defensive Pairing: Kimmo Timonen / Luke Schenn

This is… less than ideal. Timonen certainly has the skillset to anchor this pairing, but his longevity is going to be questionable in a 48-game sprint to the playoffs. Schenn has also struggled in the NHL in the last few years, having been scratched by the Toronto Maple Leafs last season because he couldn’t handle third pairing duty.

I’m cautiously optimistic that the new environment and support will bring out his potential.

Third Defensive Pairing: Andrej Meszaros / Kurtis Foster

Meszaros, if completely healthy, would likely be skating with Timonen. As it stands, he is not fully confident in the strength of his tendons after coming back from injury, so he will be used sparingly in the third pairing for the time being.

Foster is a new face on the Flyers, but he’s been around the league long enough to be a competent third pairing defenseman. He’s not the swiftest, but he’s proficient and has a powerful shot.

Healthy Scratch: Bruno Gervais

Goaltending

Bryz is as Bryz does.

Special Teams

The Flyers aren’t lacking in defensive-minded forwards. Read, Couturier, Schenn, Giroux, Talbot, Wellwood, Voracek, Laughton and Fedotenko can kill penalties (with Rinaldo supposedly in the mix somehow too).

On the powerplay, Simmonds and Hartnell will still be setting up in front of the net while Voracek works one of the points. Couturier may be working the point on the second unit based on his time in Glens Falls.

* * * * * *

In general, expect some ugly hockey in the first few weeks, from both the Flyers and their opponents.  Once the roster settles in (and ‘final’ line combinations begin to shake out), though, this team is strong enough on paper to compete night in and night out.

Game on!

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Posted by on Jan 18 2013. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Comments for “Final Roster Set for Flyers Home Opener”

  1. 22-18-8 is my Prediction of this 2013 Flyers Season

  2. eagles0superbowls

    Kimmo Timonen / Luke Schenn line should be interesting
    scary but interesting

    The roster seems to lack offensive punch, I hope I’m wrong

  3. Scoring shouldn’t be an issue. Do your homework. Jagr is the only piece missing from the offence last year.

    • Offense wasn’t all that great last Year from what I recall
      Of Giroux, Hartnell have big Scoring years but Jagr, Briere, Talbot
      Were below their Career Averages, Scoring by Defenseman was down too as a group.. These lack of Scoring came to forefront during the Playoffs last year when they’ll played a solid Defensive Team and Goalie
      In the Devils.. Everyone went Gaga when they eliminated a poor a defensive Penquin Team giving Fans False Hope, I don’t see any real improvement with the 2013 squad, in fact probably a step backwards as a total team

  4. Offensively they will be fine. Defensively is another animal. They are not strong enough and Bryz is mediocre at best. Prediction, with the new CBA we are seeing Bryz’s final season here. He will let in some bad goals and he will go into his mental funk and the season will end with a first round loss. The Rangers and the Pens are the class of the division, possibly of the entire Eastern Conference. I hate to admit this but the Rangers are going to be a very good team.

  5. Scoring is Average and will rank middle to slightly above while their Defense and Goaltending will be in the bottom half of League Standings
    From what I see..which is the same old story for the last 30 years with the Flyers Franchise who continues to get a free pass from the local media and many Dans year after year which must be a “racial thing”
    Of some sorts, I rarely here many fans or local media calling out Flyers Players , Coaches and Management like I do with the Eagles & Sixerz and that’s a fact of life in The City of Brotherly Love…

  6. It’s funny too when you think about many of the Flyers Fan Base either being part of the “wine and cheese”, young woman, or fans that were never very athletic themselves or even played the sport the Sport..
    Someone should do a Sociology Study of the Fan Base and find out
    What the deal is.. I am afraid the Eagles Fan base has increased with its
    Wine and cheese crowd too where it’s a social event to go to a game without realty caring or knowing much about it outside of being seen with their colors on for the social experience, but this is the world we live in today so spend your hard earned $60-80-100 per Seat.. Crazy I call it..

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