Flyers Moving Wayne Simmonds to Left Wing, Top Line
PHILADELPHIA – Wayne Simmonds didn't need to be told twice.
Coach Craig Berube was looking for a fit on the top line with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek. During the first intermission of Thursday's 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers, he thought Simmonds might be it even though the last time No. 17 was on the left side was approximately, "maybe never."
"When he tells you to play with G and Jakey, are you going to take a double take? No," Simmonds said, "I'm getting on the ice!"
Chris VandeVelde lasted all of 23 minutes and change on the top line. The usual fourth-liner missed the net twice in the first period with his new teammates and the change didn't have much to do with him. It was more what wasn't happening with Simmonds, who has one goal in his last nine games.
He had been on a line with R.J. Umberger and Vinny Lecavalier.
"He wasn't getting the puck enough on the other line," Berube said. "He's one of our best goal scorers. Those guys, they all play on the power play together and I just talked to Simmer about playing left side and he said, 'No problem.'"
Simmonds is a natural right wing, as is Voracek, who is tied for the league lead in points. The two hadn't been on the same line since their first year in Philly when then-coach Peter Laviolette had Voracek on the left side.
"I kind of struggled on the left side," Voracek admitted.
Simmonds remembers it a little more vividly.