I know he's such a great two-way player and defense is a big strength of his game, but, to me, he seems like he's our third-line center. The Briere line is playing great this season, and, lately, Z-Carts-Giroux has been excelling and getting a lot of attention. And poor Mike Richards is stuck with JVR and Andreas Nodl. Granted, JVR has certainly come on better of late, but I feel like Nodl's (lack of) offensive talent is wasting Mike Richards' playmaking ability. Now before that dude on this board who beats it to Nodl jumps all over me, this is not meant to be too much of a knock on Nodl. He's playing very well defensively, but he shouldn't be counted on to score goals. It shouldn't be his role. I think after a hot start, the Flyers are overestimating his offensive abilities. He's come back down to earth lately. Despite mostly playing on a line with Richards, he only has 2 points in his last 12 games. Richards needs more production out of a winger IMO.
I think Richards would benefit from having more of a sniper or good scorer on one of his wings. JVR has a lot of talent, but he's still pretty raw and is more of a bigger, more powerful forward. I'd hate to break up the Z-C-G line, but it seems like maybe having Zherdev with Richards might help both of those guys out. And then maybe move Nodl down with Carts and Giroux, so that way both lines would still have 2 good goal scorers. Or maybe Richards and Giroux together? They always seem to work well together on rushes on the PK... but, then again, maybe that's cuz they catch opponents by surprise and aren't exactly facing sound defenders in other teams' PP units.
Maybe, I'm just pissed we got shut out tonight and I'm just over-thinking things... Maybe don't mess with what's not broken? Maybe Nodl is just in a funk? Thoughts?
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