Flyers Changing Things Up, Looking for a Spark
PHILADELPHIA — Five games has been long enough, the Flyers say.
Well, they also said that two games into their losing streak. And three. And four.
So coach Dave Hakstol is trying to pull out all the stops to try and get the team back on track. When players got to the practice rink Friday morning and saw the new line combinations, it raised a few eyebrows.
Hakstol contests the proximity to panic even though he changed every line except the fourth in Friday’s practice.
Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek went back together as they were early in the season. Dale Weise, Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds are a new trio. Chris VandeVelde and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare were still with Boyd Gordon.
“I’m certainly not doing anything drastic,” Hakstol said. “The Couturier line had played together and played very well together before. The other combinations, there’s combinations of two there in most respects. We feel it’s a good time to make changes up front.”
And at the back, too.
All indications point to Michal Neuvirth making his first appearance Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning since he got hurt on Nov. 12. A knee ailment kept him on the shelf since then.