The Philadelphia Flyers are trying something new after the heralded “FAB” line has had its good juices all soaked up by the sponge of percentages. After a disheartening shutout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, head coach Alain Vigneault unveiled a little swap of wingers during practice on Thursday.
Lines and pairings:— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) November 11, 2021
Fourth line has been rotating a lot. Hayes in there, Brown in there, NAK in there sometimes.
Oskar Lindblom and Joel Farabee are the newest stars of Trading Spaces, as they are going to attempt to rebuild this offense just one brick at a time. Considering that the Flyers have not scored more than two goals against a non-Arizona Coyotes opponent (sorry) since Oct. 27 against the also defensively-horrible Edmonton Oilers, they certainly need some revision and as any coach in this league loves to do, Vigneault jumbled up some lines in search of newfound chemistry.
At least Cam Atkinson himself is excited for the change in personnel.
“They’re both very skilled; I played with Oskar during training camp a little bit and he’s a very smart player out there, so he’s positionally sound,” Atkinson said on Thursday. “I think we work well with each other, in just our tendencies and how we think the game. I’m excited to play with him and hopefully we can get on the score sheet.”
From a broader-picture perspective, the trio of Atkinson, Brassard, and Lindblom, does seem just very annoying to play against and if the newcomer to that group can rejuvenate some production with a shooter in Cam and an over-performing dude in Derick, then why not? It’s good enough to try, but against a top team like the Carolina Hurricanes, hopefully Vigneault has some patience with that combination if they fail to score.
He certainly has some hopes though.
“The thought process there, as much as I believe both of those lines are playing the right way, at some point you’re looking for better results,” coach Vigneault said on Thursday. “Oskar is doing everything he’s supposed to do, he’s just not finishing right now. [Brassard] and Cam have that good chemistry; I’m hoping by putting those two with Oskar we get a little rhythm going here and a little chemistry going. We’re going to play against one of the best teams in the league, so hopefully those guys are going to be good for us.”
In theory, it can certainly work. Atkinson has been getting the majority of his goals and shot attempts from that desired “home plate” area in front of the net, and it’s the same deal for Lindblom’s attempts. If there’s enough space for both of them out there to get those opportunities — or trade off shift-to-shift for example — then there will at least someone always annoying the hell out of the defense with those chances. Now, if only Brassard can do enough to support them.
This isn’t even the point of this blog, but we cannot wait until Kevin Hayes comes back. For real.