This is certainly one way to help the captain and franchise player snap his goal-less streak. Reports from Tuesday’s morning practice have four-time All Star Vincent Lecavalier skating with Claude Giroux on the top line, a look that should debut when the Orange & Black return to action against the New York Rangers on Thursday.
Joining Giroux and Lecavalier is 24-year-old rookie Michael Raffl, who was called up from Adirondack when Lecavalier and Scott Hartnell went down with injuries.
Here is the rest of the lineup via Bill Meltzer of HockeyBuzz:
Raffl - Giroux - Lecavalier
McGinn - B. Schenn - Voracek
Read - Couturier - Simmonds
Hall - Talbot - Rinaldo
[Hartnell - Newbury - Rosehill]
We’ve already seen just how smooth Lecavalier can be when it comes to creating in the offensive zone during his sort time in Philly (1 G, 2 A), and Giroux is in desperate need of a jump start. The centerman hasn’t lit the lamp in 14 consecutive games dating back to last season, and most nights he hasn’t even been getting shots on net. Giroux has been limited to one shot on goal in four of the Flyers’ eight games this season.
Raffl is an interesting choice on the other wing, especially because Tye McGinn has had some success on the G line, scoring two goals against Vancouver just two games ago. While he has yet to score in three games this season though, Raffl has had some opportunities. He led the way for the Flyers with five shots against Pittsburgh last week.
Then again, is there something to be said for creating a line and giving them a chance to find some chemistry? The Flyers have been juggling the pairings seemingly every game this season, and while it’s not uncommon to try different things, neither Craig Berube nor Peter Laviolette before him has shown much patience behind the bench.
Of course, that’s the nature of the beast with the Flyers. Plus, at this point it’s really hard to argue with giving Giroux and Lecavalier a look. When the Rangers visit Philadelphia this Thursday, the Orange & Black will be attempting to clear the two-goal mark for the first time this season.
>> Meltzer’s Musings: Post-Practice Update, New Lines [HockeyBuzz]