Philadelphia Flyers: Predicting the Flyers' Starting Lineup for 2011-12
A new player will be donning the "C" on his sweater and a new group of young guns are going to be leading the way for the orange and black.
In case you missed a roller coaster offseason for the club, here is a preview of who the new, and returning starters will be for the Flyers in 2011.
LW: James van Riemsdyk
C: Claude Giroux
RW: Jaromir Jagr
On paper, this line looks scary good. JVR and Giroux have been playing together for awhile now. It will all depend on how Jagr fits in with these two youngsters. I think he will be fine and this line has the potential to be one of the best in the league.
We're going to be hearing a lot of nicknames for this dynamic line, including "The NEW Legion of Doom."
LW: Scott Hartnell
C: Danny Briere
RW: Jakub Voracek
One of the most lethal lines in recent Flyers history is now gone.
Ville Leino is a thing of the past. However, two of the three players still remain. Briere and Hartnell, along with newcomer Voracek, have the same potential that the scoring line from last year had.
Voracek is an up and coming player who has some of the skills reminiscent of a Ville Leino. If Briere has another 30-goal season and Voracek steps into this line with ease, we might need to come up with a name for this lethal line as well.
LW: Andreas Nodl
C: Brayden Schenn
RW: Wayne Simmonds
I think we all can agree that this is the line that has the most to prove, but also has the most potential.
Brayden Schenn (hopefully) is a budding star and Wayne Simmonds is another young player who has the skill to become one. Both are coming from the Kings where they sparingly played together.
A quick connection and chemistry between the former Kings and this line will quickly jump to one of the best third lines in the league.
LW: Jody Shelley
C: Blair Betts
RW: Max Talbot
I think on opening night, these are the guys you will see taking the checking line duties.
However, I am convinced that Zac Rinaldo has deserved more playing time. And being that the coaches love this kid, he may take some time away from either Shelley or Talbot.
With Dan Carcillo gone, the Flyers need another enforcer on the ice. Rinaldo is that person and Laviolette has to find a way to get him in the lineup.
Defensive Pairing 1
Chris Pronger and Matt Carle
Assuming Chris Pronger is healthy enough to play, he's on the Flyers' top defensive pairing along with Matt Carle.
Now Carle is not the Flyers' second best defender, but he seemed to play well with Pronger during spans of the past two seasons.
Carle had a terrific year, statistically-wise, last season. Hopefully Pronger will make up for the one or two mistakes a game that Carle makes on the ice.
Defensive Pairing 2
Kimo Timonen and Braydon Coburn
Timonen and Coburn will be paired with each other again. The two basically made up the team's first defensive line since Chris Pronger was out for a good portion of the season in 2010.
Coburn continues to improve on his stick work and skating skills, which allows him to punish opponents into the glass. As long as Kimo stays the same ol' Kimo, this will be another good season for the pair.
Defensive Pairing 3
Andrej Meszaros and Andreas Lilja
Meszaros had arguably the best season out of any of the Flyers defensemen last year. He was maybe the most consistent one and provided scoring depth as well as bringing more physical play to the blue line.
For 2011, add another physical defenseman to the list. Lilja is a veteran who knows how to play tough defense. He should start the season for the Flyers but don't be surprised if Oskars Bartulis comes in every now and then.
No questions or concerns here. Ilya Bryzgalov was paid the big money to be the rock in net for the Flyers. The Flyers are going to have this netminder for a long time though so I can see them taking it easy with him for the first few seasons.
You should expect 55-60 starts for him with Sergei Bobrovsky getting the remaining games.
As long as Bob stays on top of his game coming off the bench, this is perhaps the best goalie tandem in the league.