When the Philadelphia Flyers took on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, one of the more surprising lineup moves was Flyers coach Peter Laviolette’s decision to put Jakub Voracek on the third line with Sean Couturier and Max Talbot.
Voracek excelled with Claude Giroux last season and the assumption was that duo would continue to play together in 2013-14. Laviolette partially moved Voracek because he was coming off of a lower-back injury and wanted to reduce his workload, but the bench boss also likes the idea of having his top three lines more balanced, according to CSN Philly.
That might not be reason enough to put Voracek on the third line again for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, but the 24-year-old can see some upside to playing on the bottom-six if that’s what’s asked of him.
For one thing, he thinks highly of Couturier and likes playing alongside him. However, moving to the third line also means that he tends to avoid the opposition’s top shutdown defensemen.
“Claude is always going to play against the better defensemen, the shutdown defensemen,” Voracek said. “It should be an advantage for me.
“I don’t want to say I am playing against worst players, but obviously, not going against their top defensemen. I just have to take advantage of that. That is what Lavy is pointing out – spread out their lineup and try to get the offense going for all three lines.”
The Flyers were held to just one goal on Wednesday and are consequently still searching for their first victory.