Going in to tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings, I wondered where Brayden Schenn would fit into the lineup for Philadelphia. Before the season, I had him penciled in at the third-line center spot and Couturier back in juniors. However, Couturier's play in the last four games has impressed me enough to where I think that the Flyers' best chance of winning is with him on the ice.
So where does that leave Schenn? Schenn was considered the biggest part of the Richards deal this summer. In two games with the Adirondack Phantoms, he has amassed five points. Two assists in his first game and a hat trick in his second. He appears to be dominating at that level, and there is little reason to keep him in the AHL now that his cap has been reduced.
Yesterday, I could not think of which player to demote or scratch to find him ice time. I felt that every player on our team earned his spot on the ice. On the third line specifically, I thought that Couturier and Read have really made themselves necessities on this team with their special teams play. Hartnell has a $4.2 million cap hit and plays a very consistent game.
To bring Schenn up, either Shelly, Betts or Walker would need to be put on waivers. My vote is for Shelly, and I am not exactly sure what we can do with Betts given his injury. Regardless, I think it is time to pull Brayden Schenn up.
In tonight's loss, one player reminded me so much of Nikolai Zherdev that I thought I had walked into last year. The similarities are mind boggling. They wear the same number, they both played in Columbus and they both have an incredible tendency to try to do too much with the puck and end up turning over the puck. Countless times, Voracek tried to make dekes with his impressive ability to stick-handle, but the other team took it away more often than not.
I would make him a healthy scratch and put Schenn up on his line with Danny Briere or move Hartnell to the second line and Schenn could slip into the third. When the coaches teach Voracek that less is more, I might be confused again as to where Schenn will fit in. One player who could really help Voracek is Claude Giroux. Both players have tremendous stick-handling ability, but Giroux knows when to use it and that is what makes him great.
Will Schenn make an appearance on Tuesday? I don't know, but I sure hope so.