By Kyle Scott
First sign of trouble in paradise. Some of the Flyers, including Mike Richards and Danny Briere, are not thrilled with all of the recent line changes.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mike Richards said he thinks the power play struggles are coming from not getting enough consistency with the lines:
“I think we’re switching a lot of the units up. I think before when we had success we had two units to call by name that five guys hopped over the bench,” Richards said Tuesday. “And I think power play has a lot to do with chemistry on the ice. Obviously you need a shooting mentality, but we have a lot of the same groups that we’ve had success with here before and I think we just need to build that chemistry up so we can make some different plays and know where each other is on the ice. That’s tough to do when you keep switching them up.”
Ville Leino agreed:
“I think he’s right – the chemistry gets a little off when you change it every game or every second period,” winger Ville Leino said. “I like it to be the way they are for a little while.”
On Monday night at P.J. Whelihan’s in Cherry Hill, where several of the Flyers took questions from fans, Danny Briere was asked about switching up the line changes:
“I don’t enjoy them very much, honestly. I think Peter was getting bored with us winning so many games, so he decided to mix it up a little bit. But it’s just a lot more fun when you get to know players you’re playing with every night. The chemistry that you’re able to build with your line mates sometimes goes a long way. I prefer when he keeps the same lines together.”
Laviolette doesn’t agree:
“The old units weren’t working very well, so we did shake it up,” Laviolette said, responding to his players questioning chemistry problems. “There shouldn’t be any confusion as to who the units are because everything’s laid out for them in advance.”
A little bit of a he said – she said developing. I suppose this is what will come out of a five day layoff.
The real problem is they don’t shoot enough. It’s a tired refrain, but one that has merit. One game last week, I counted three different opportunities that Giroux passed up from the off-wing (Bobby Clarke has even said that Giroux should be more selfish.) The problem isn’t limited to Giroux, however; there have been far too many occurrences where one-too-many passes have been made, resulting in a turnover and valuable advantage time being wasted.
Of course, whether it’s the lines or the lack of quality shots, the fact remains the Flyers have a five point lead in the Eastern Conference and have scored the third most goals in the league, even though no one has played less games. We just need something to complain about, and it sounds like the players do, too.
This article reflects the opinion of Kyle Scott. Kyle Scott is the founder and editor of CrossingBroad.com, one of Philly’s top sports blogs, known for its sarcastic and irreverent take on the Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, and Eagles.