With their opening round robin game on Sunday, it looks like we know the roster the Flyers will be rolling out.
After a mandatory off day on Thursday, the Flyers were back on the ice ahead of their game against the Boston Bruins on Sunday. There are some minor details to sort out before then. But it looks like we have a pretty good idea of the lineup the team will be tossing out.
The most certain thing that can be said is in regards to the defense. The group that finished the season is what will take to the ice on Sunday. So it’ll be Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen manning the top pair. Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers will make up the second pairing.
And the final grouping will be Justin Braun and Robert Hagg. So while Shayne Gostisbehere looked good in the exhibition game, he will be starting things off on the bench. He did mention this is the healthiest he has felt in years so he will be ready to good if the opportunity comes.
Hagg was one of the veteran defensemen that did not play in the exhibition game. His partner in Braun was out for that game as well. So despite Gostisbehere getting the chance to impress on his own, it wasn’t enough to sway Alain Vigneault’s decision.
He liked what he had seen from the defensive group during the last chunk of the season. So they will be the group that begins the playoffs. Changes will be made if need be, though.
The forward core looks to be just about set as well for the opening game. After a brief stint on the fourth line, Nicolas Aube-Kubel was moved up to the third line. The bottom-six wasn’t clicking the way it was previously set up.
Scott Laughton has continued his role in the top-six as he appears to be the second line-winger going in. He could always be flipped back to center of things don’t work out in the bottom-six moving forward.
Joel Farabee continued to swap out duties on the fourth line with Michael Raffl. This leads one to believe that he is still on the outside looking in. Nate Thompson has been secure as the fourth line center for at least a few days at this point.
Things could always change as the Flyers go through the next few round-robin games. But there’s no doubt Vigneault would want his playoff roster to have a cohesive feel to it. That means the group we see on Sunday could potentially be what we see moving forward.