Getting scoring from your top line is always a positive. When that’s the only place you’re getting it from, however, it becomes a glaring issue. The Philadelphia Flyers scoring depth isn’t a new issue. It’s something that has followed the team for years. It’s even more magnified this year as the Flyers new look top line has been great.
The trio of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Jakub Voracek have provided plenty of scoring for the Flyers. On multiple occasions, they have accounted for the only scoring in a game. There have also been other examples that show when the top line doesn’t score, no one else will.
It was evident in each of the Flyers league-leading five shutout losses. When the top line doesn’t score, the lack of Flyers scoring depth gets magnified.
Flyers Scoring Depth Continues To Be An Issue
Focusing on the top line alone, the three have combined for 25 goals and 40 assists. Voracek leads the team with 23 points, while both Couturier and Giroux are second with 21. The next closest forward to them is Wayne Simmonds, who only has 12 points.
The last time someone outside of the Flyers top line has scored came on November 4th. Dale Weise scored 6:37 into the third period of the Flyers 5-4 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche. That’s almost 265 minutes without a goal from someone not named Giroux, Couturier, or Voracek.
There are 16 players under double-digit points, while a few have yet to record a point on the season. A few are noticeably understandable such as Matt Read, who has only appeared in four games. It’s some of the team’s top players, though, that aren’t producing on a regular basis.
Simmonds kicked off his season with a bang, scoring a hat-trick in the team’s opening night victory against the San Joe Sharks. Since then, Simmonds only has three goals. His last came on October 21st, along with an assist. That’s a stretch of 11 games without a goal. He has collected three assists in that span of time.
Collecting an assist in the team’s shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday broke a four-game pointless streak.
Coming into his sophomore season, there was going to be more expected out of Konecny. With the trade of Brayden Schenn, more responsibility was given to the young forward. And he hasn’t quite lived up to that as of yet. So far Konecny has just two goals and five assists on the season.
His last goal came on October 26th against the Ottawa Senators. He also collected an assist in the game. That’s nine games without a goal for Konecny. He hasn’t registered a point in four straight games as well.
The Flyers proved to Weal that they believed in him when they re-signed him over the summer. He had shown the offensive flashes in the previous season that led the team to believe that he would continue to contribute. It hasn’t quite shown for Weal in his first 17 games. He has just two goals and four assists.
Weal’s last goal came on October 30th, giving him seven games without registering a goal. He last picked up a point on October 4th but has failed to register one in his last four games.
Fourth Line Buzzing, But Not Producing
The bottom six forwards haven’t provided much on the scoresheet for the Flyers. They account for just 10 points on the season. Scott Laughton leads the group with four points while Michael Raffl has failed to register a single point in 19 games. That trend is unlikely to continue, but nonetheless highlights the Flyers scoring depth issues even more.
Looking at the fourth line alone, it’s evident that they have been productive while on the ice. The numbers just aren’t showing up on the scoresheet. Nicknamed “The Honey Bees” the trio of Raffl, Laughton, and Taylor Leier have proven to have developed significant chemistry with each other. Chemistry alone, however, won’t help the clear scoring issues the team has.
Laughton has two goals and two assists, both of his goals coming during the team’s opening night game against the Washington Capitals. That’s over a month without a goal. His last point came on October 28th, a stretch of eight games without one.
Leier made the team out of training camp, proving the team was ready to give him a full shot at the NHL. He collected an assist during the October 28th game. That would also give him eight games without a point. His previous assist came back on October 10th.
Raffl has spent time up and down the lineup during his Flyers career. He has shown to be a versatile player for the team. He has played an important role on the team’s fourth line, but the points haven’t shown up yet. One look at his play and it’s clear to say this lack of production won’t continue.
Flyers Need A Solution And A Quick One
The Flyers will need to figure out exactly what is going on and how to fix it. One fix is to break up the top line and spread out the scoring depth. But with the chemistry and success, the line has found together, that may do more harm than good.
Another option would be to start calling up players from the Phantoms and giving them a chance. Oskar Lindblom and Danick Martel are some of the options. This may also not be the right idea, however. Lindblom has shown some struggles in the AHL and Martel’s size could be an issue at the NHL level.
The team may just have to hope that the scoring issues work themselves out. Nolan Patrick returning from injury could help that. He was limited to just 7:58 in his first game back, but he hadn’t played in almost a month. He had one goal and two assists in 10 games before the injury. While not a lot, it was his playmaking ability that has the chance to make a difference.
No matter the solution the Flyers look towards, they will need to figure it out quickly. They cannot continue to rely on their top line to win them games.
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