The Flyers’ First Line Dominated the Blackhawks, But…

Len Redkoles | NHLI via Getty Images

Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Sean Couturier and Shayne Gostisbehere: 75 points in 16 games.

The rest of the Flyers: 65 points in 16 games.

In the Philadelphia Flyers’ win over the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night, all of the Flyers’ points were scored by the aforementioned four players. Hypothetically, the team would have lost, 1-0, without those guys on the ice.

Ridiculous. Ridiculously good that first line is. But ridiculously in danger of the offense stagnating if that line goes cold. If the Flyers want to become a more consistent team throughout the rest of 2017 and into 2018 to make a playoff push, the offense needs to begin spreading. Don’t get me wrong – it is absolutely fantastic that the Flyers have one of the best scoring lines in all of hockey, and it’s exciting as hell to watch them play, but if and when other teams figure out how to shut them down, it’s going to be on the three other lines to pick up the slack.

Right now, perennial 30-goal scorer Wayne Simmonds has been on a five-game pointless streak. No goals, no assists. Simmonds started the season on fire but has since simmered down – no pun intended – and he’s going to need to get back on track soon.

In addition to that, 2017 second overall pick Nolan Patrick has three points, one goal and two assists in nine games. While Patrick was not going to be a world beater in picking up a huge amount of points, it does hurt the Flyers’ depth when it comes to scoring. But, Patrick has all the tools and he’ll eventually turn it around when he steps back onto the ice, so I’m not too worried about him. If he can get on a point-every-other-game pace, that’ll do wonders for the scoring depth.

On the defensive side, the Flyers’ scoring depth isn’t anything to scoff at, though. Ivan Provorov has eight points in 16 games and continues to show that he is one of the best defensemen in the entire league. He will continue to grow and when the second power play unit is at full-strength again, his point total will continue to rise.

Oh, and Wednesday night, our guy Ghost got his 100th point of his NHL career. He’s the fastest defenseman in franchise history to reach that mark.

However, guys like Simmonds, Travis Konecny, Jordan Weal and Valtteri Filppula need to start picking up the slack for the rest of the bottom nine if the team wants to win consistently. They played a complete game against the Blackhawks Wednesday night, but if it weren’t for the top line having a hand in all three goals, this outcome could have been very different.

The Flyers play again Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center against the Minnesota Wild, another tough western conference team. It’ll be a good test for the now 8-6-2 Flyers.

Condensed game highlights:


You can follow Caleb Weiler on Twitter (@TheBitter_Caleb) and e-mail him at Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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