Brayden Schenn 'comfortable' playing center

Brayden Schenn 'comfortable' playing center
December 5, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Brayden Schenn has been playing center in place of the injured Vinny Lecavalier. (USA Today Images)

OK, so it’s been two games on this road trip where Brayden Schenn has moved over to center to replace the injured Vinny Lecavalier.
 
Two games with Michael Raffl, who was elevated from the fourth line, and Wayne Simmonds.
 
So how’s the experiment going?
 
“I’m comfortable playing the middle,” Schenn said.
 
Schenn was minus-1 after a 6-3 win over Detroit on Wednesday in which he logged 13:44 ice time.
 
He had some adjustments to make the previous game Monday in Minnesota.
 
“Honestly, it took me one or two shifts last game to finally realize that I had to be all over the ice compared to wing, where you are on your one side in your own end,” Schenn said. “But I feel comfortable at center and actually like it better. You never want a guy missing from your lineup. But for me I’ll try to fill the void, or try to fill the second line center for Vinny.”
 
The only games this season in which Schenn has shifted from left wing to center have come when Lecavalier has been out of the lineup injured -- 11 games in total.
 
“It’s more natural for me to play center and feel comfortable there than left wing,” Schenn said. “I’m still trying to get adjusted to the left side.”
 
The only time last season Schenn was in the middle was when either Danny Briere or Max Talbot wasn't in the lineup. Briere was his pivot most of the season. Schenn's first year here, he was with Briere or Claude Giroux.
 
Point is, Schenn hasn’t played the middle very much as a Flyer.
 
“I feel comfortable at both positions, but if I had to pick a more natural spot, it would be center since I played it my whole life,” he said.
 
But maybe not so comfortable in the faceoff circle.
 
Schenn was eaten alive during Wednesday’s 6-3 victory over the Red Wings in Detroit. He lost 13 of 15 faceoffs and was thoroughly dominated by Joakim Andersson, who won all 10 draws against him in the game.
 
Obviously, that can improve.
 
Flyers coach Craig Berube admits he’d like to see more from that unit, especially Raffl, who has been getting scoring chances because of his speed but not connecting. Raffl had an assist in Detroit on Sean Couturier’s empty-net goal.
 
More on Raffl
Raffl was on the ice in the final minute with Couturier because he is arguably as fast as or faster than Couturier.
 
Berube wanted speed in case there was a break up ice for a shot on the empty net. Which is precisely what happened.
 
“Raffl had a couple opportunities and he missed the net," Berube said. "We talked about hitting the net. When he gets opportunities, he has to hit the net. He’s had chances to score. He either waits too long to shoot the puck or he misses the net. He’s got to do a better job.”
 
Loose pucks
Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has a groin pull and will miss at least four weeks, the Blue Jackets announced. That means the Flyers won’t see him in either game later this month (Dec. 19 & 21). ... HBO’s cameras were at the Red Wings’ morning skate and at Toronto’s on Wednesday. That was the first day of shooting for 24/7 in this year’s Winter Classic at the Big House between the Wings and Maple Leafs.