Flyers Looking to Shake-up Defense
VOORHEES — With seven defensemen in practice, it can be tough — even for the players — to keep up with who skates with who.
Wednesday’s practice had a few firsts. Since the dawn of training camp, the top pair was Nick Schultz and Mark Streit.
“Possibly,” said coach Dave Hakstol, now is the time for a shake-up.
Things may be different by Thursday’s morning skate, but Wednesday’s practice featured three new defense pairs, duos that hadn’t been together at any point since training camp.
“We’re going to try to keep evolving and see what’s the right time to do that,” Hakstol said. “There’s no script for it but we’re going to keep looking for ways to have our overall group back there evolve. We need everybody every single night. We need to do it by committee and we just want to improve as much as we can the way we’re doing that.”
For the last few years, the Flyers operated under the theory that it’s good to have a puck-moving defenseman with a stay-at-home type. Schultz, a defensive defenseman, and Streit, an offensive-minded blueliner, were on different pairs Wednesday.
“There can be a lot of sense to that, but I don’t think it’s set in stone,” Hakstol said. “It really depends on your overall personnel as well. Is there some merit to that? Yes, but I wouldn’t say that’s a rule that’s written in stone in any way.”
Instead the rookie coach had Streit, who leads the team in points with six, with fellow offensive-defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who has only one.
(Listen to Flyers Radio analyst Steve Coates on the Sports Bash)