Is there anything Matt Read can't do? Offense, Defense, Power plays, Penalty Kills....He does everything well. Much has been made about about his Chemistry with Sear Couturier...And rightfully so. The two play well together.
Here's the thing, The Flyers are fairly weak on the Left Wing. Scott Hartnell is their top guy and plays with the Giroux line. The 2nd line has suffered all season without a permanent LW. The Lecavalier experiment was a bust and Brayden Schenn has tried it out recently while being centered by Micheal Raffl. Clearly the Flyers want to fill that gap.
Enter Matt Read.
No, I'm not saying put Read on 2nd line LW....I'm saying put Read on 1st line LW.
Am I insane? Maybe...But hear me out:
Matt Read is a goal scorer pure and simple. He has now twice broken the 20 goal barrier while being given mostly 3rd line minutes on a 3rd line that is routinely given defensive zone Faceoffs vs the opposing team's best players. He doesn't even always get Powerplay minutes.
All of this being done while playing RW while having a Right Handed shot. A switch to LW would only give him more opportunities to shoot at much better angles. He also has the speed to keep up with Giroux and Voracek.
Moving Read to 1st line doesn't mean he can't still kill Penalties with Couturier either.
Oh and Hartnell? Lets just say he has has some Chemistry with Schenn and Simmonds.
The bigger question is what about Couturier? This is a bit of a gamble. As said earlier, Coots and Read just have an amazing chemistry together. I do see one possible solution though: Micheal Raffl. Raffl has shown that he is willing to play an all around game very similar to Read while having the speed to match. I like to compare Raffl to Read when he was in his rookie season.
Should the Flyers roll the dice and make the move before the playoffs? No. I think this is a move that should be done in next season's training camp (Although I'd like to see Read get more powerplay time in these playoffs)
I am convinced the Flyers could have two 30+ goal scorers on their first two lines (Read/Simmonds...and maybe even Giroux) if Read is moved up. I'd even say Read could be a 35+ goal scorer if he's given proper Powerplay minutes.