It's almost here. Training camps and preseason games continue, but the most important day is just over a week away when the first puck of the season drops for the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens on the first of October. The first puck of the Philadelphia Flyers season drops 24 hours later when the Flyers take on the Maple Leafs in the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers recently sent 28 players to the Adirondack Phantoms and junior clubs. With final roster moves being made over the next week, here is a look at what could be the Flyers opening night roster:
28 – Claude Giroux
14 – Sean Couturier
19 – Scott Hartnell
40 – Vinny Lecavalier
17 – Wayne Simmonds
10 – Brayden Schenn
24 – Matt Read
93 – Jake Voracek
25 – Max Talbot
36 – Zac Rinaldo
18 – Adam Hall
21 – Scott Laughton
12 – Michael Raffl
37 – Jay Rosehill
Top Line: Hartnell – Giroux – Voracek
Second Line: Schenn – Levavalier – Simmonds
Third Line: Couturier – Talbot – Read
Fourth Line: Rinaldo – Laughton – Hall
The top two lines are the least surprising combinations. Just looking at the two combinations, you can see that the Flyers have two of the best lines in the league. With the addition of Lecavalier, look for Brayden Schenn to have a breakout year and Simmonds to have a career year as well.
What is going to be interesting is the third and fourth line combinations. Raffl is making impressions in training camp and the preseason. He is getting consideration to be on the third line as the left winger with the possibility of Couturier as center and Read as the right winger. Also, Hall could be the fourth line center and Laughton be put out on the wing until he is comfortable taking over at center. The third and fourth lines are likely going to be switched up until the right combination is found. As of right now, Rinaldo, Raffl, Hall and Rosehill might be the ones taking turns as the healthy scratches.
First Pairing: Timonen – Schenn
Second Pairing: Coburn – Streit
Third Pairing: Meszaros – Grossman
No surprises here. Gustafsson will likely be the healthy scratch to start the season, but he may get a considerable amount of playing time if Meszaros gets hurt again. Meszaros is basically on "health watch" all season considering he has been getting injured constantly. The moment he gets hurt and is out for a nice chunk of the season, it will likely be the end of his career in Philadelphia.
29 – Ray Emery
35 – Steve Mason
Mason is likely to be named as the starting goaltender, but the job may be rotating between the two of them to start the season. It is possible that rotating the goalies could go through the entire season.
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