No more questions about the offense, please – Before the season started the most often asked question about this team by the hockey media was, who is going to score?
Even though the overwhelming answer to this question has come from the Giroux (11 goals), Hartnell (6), and Jagr (6) line, the rest of the team has been stunningly kept up the frantic goal pace. Currently the Flyers lead the NHL in total goals scored (65) and goals for average per game (3.79). Where exactly has this offensive surge come from? Two names will not surprise you and the other three will.
There was a good amount of expectations on the players that were on this team before and after the off season such as, Danny Briere (5) and James van Reimsdyk (6). Yet it is a new guy with experience and two rookies that have helped prove that Paul Holmgren and co. are geniuses when it comes to finding talent.
Maxime Talbot has six goals in 17 games played, his career high for goals in a season is 13 back in the 06-07 campaign with the Penguins. By far this is the most shocking number, it shows how different his role is in Philadelphia. In Pittsburgh he was on a grinding 4th line that had no purpose other than to wear down the opposing offensive lines, here he is used in a much different, but apparently better way.
The youth movement is in full swing and it is led by the two of the most prolific rookies in the entire league. Matt Read and Sean Couturier both have five goals. Couturier, the number eight overall pick in this year’s draft, has made the “energy line” of him, Zac Rinaldo, and Harry Zolnierczyk a threat to not only swing the momentum of the game with big hits, but with goals. To top it off coach Laviolette has shown unbelievable confidence in number 14 on the penalty kill.
Where Couturier has the coaches confidence on the penalty kill, Matt read has the coaches confidence on the power play. When Chris Pronger was out Read could be seen taking the point for the first offensive unit. That my friends means he was the quarterback of the power play, just another testament to his skill set.
Almost every game he seems to dazzle the defense with a combination of his stick handling, speed, and control of the puck. It is no wonder why some are starting to keep an eye on him for the Calder Memorial trophy.