Depth has always been an issue for the Flyers, but their current bottom-six group may have helped figure things out.
The Flyers have won nine straight, which is well known at this point. The top guys have been stepping up at a key moment in the season. Jakub Voracek has 10 points in the last five games. Claude Giroux has four goals in his last five. Sean Couturier has three goals in the last five.
But it’s not just those guys who have been producing in this last stretch. The Flyers have been getting huge contributions from just about everyone in their bottom six. And that’s an area that they have had trouble with before.
Laughton has been one of the biggest contributors to the bottom six. He has nine points in his last seven games. That’s three goals and six assists. He is someone that the Flyers enjoy having in the lineup. And it’s very noticeable when he isn’t.
He has already grabbed a career-high 13 goals in 48 games, though he scored that goal in his 46th this season. Laughton had 12 in 82 games played last season. His 27 points are five points away from tying that career-high.
Laughton is one of the most versatile players in the Flyers lineup. He’s played on the second, third and fourth lines at different points this season. He has also moved between center and wing on more than one occasion. And he has succeeded in each role more often than not. He plays a heavy type of game, but can also create chances on the offensive end.
Aube-Kubel has been shining offensively more and more lately. He has three goals and four assists in his last nine games. He recently had a five-game point streak where he collected two goals and three assists. That streak was broken during the Flyers’ last game against Buffalo.
Since the All-Star break, Aube-Kubel has 11 points. In those 18 games, he has only gone pointless eight times. He had four points in 17 games before that. It took a while for Aube-Kubel to have this opportunity, but he’s made sure to run with it. He adds a fast-paced and hard-nosed style to the bottom of the Flyers lineup. He’s not afraid to go to the dirty areas to make a play happen.
It’s his growing offensive confidence, though, that has helped him secure a spot on the roster after so long. The talent was always there, it was a matter of it showing on a more consistent basis. He had the skating ability and physical skill set. But if he can continue developing his offensive game, he should have nothing to worry about.
Grant has fit in almost seamlessly since joining the Flyers lineup at the trade deadline. His first game was rough, which is to be expected. Since then, he has been an integral part of the bottom six. He has five points in the last four games. Grant had a three-game point streak broken against Buffalo. He also has two multi-point outings in six games with the Flyers.
One of his most impressive plays was his kick pass to set up Kevin Hayes against the Capitals. He also made another great play to help set up Michael Raffl for a short-handed goal against the Rangers. Coming in on a 2-on-1, Grant made the pass over to Raffl while being taken out by a diving Anthony DeAngelo.
Grant has settled into his role and has been able to develop immediate chemistry with his linemates. He’s already scored a career-high 15 goals, 14 of those coming before he was traded. He recently broke his career-high in points as well. Grant has injected even more offense into this lineup. He is sixth on the team in goals and 10th in points.
Those three aren’t the only ones contributing lately. Raffl has two goals and one assist in his last four games. Tyler Pitlick has one goal and two assists in his last four games. Nate Thompson did grab his first point as a Flyer against the Hurricanes. Thompson is also third on the team with a 55.05 faceoff percentage.
Having this contribution up and down the lineup will only continue to help the Flyers in this final stretch. And if this depth can produce come playoff time, the Flyers will be even more of a serious threat.