Tag: lineup shuffling

Tyler Myers

Tyler Myers returns from exile, will play vs. New Jersey


Tyler Myers’ banishment to the press box turned out to be a one-game punishment.

Myers will be back in the lineup tonight for the Sabres as they take on the Devils at home. Myers was sat down against Montreal thanks to his poor play in games leading up to Monday and looked especially lost against Boston last Saturday.

While it was Mike Weber that took Myers’ spot in the lineup on Monday, he’ll stay in tonight while Marc-Andre Gragnani takes a seat for tonight’s game.

Our attention turns to Myers now to see how the young defenseman responds to being benched. Myers hasn’t looked like the guy that won the Calder Trophy in over a year now and perhaps a shakeup like this is what he needed to get back to playing top level kind of defense.

Then again, the worries that Myers has perhaps plateaued as a defenseman are being discussed as well and given the Sabres’ offseason financial commitment to him over the summer, they’re hoping that that’s just idle nonsense chatter. We’ll be watching carefully to see how he plays tonight and through the rest of the season.

Juggling lines doesn’t work for everyone… Right Philly?

Brayden Schenn

Shuffling the lines up was all well and good for the Boston Bruins last night, but the Flyers did the same thing as well heading into their game against the Capitals. That… Didn’t go so well.

Why the sudden switch-up in Philly? They had to find a place for Brayden Schenn to fit into the lineup.

If you’re a Flyers fan and getting ready to boo everyone for the change, Peter Laviolette wants you to know that switching up three out of four lines wasn’t the reason why they got pounded by Washington.

Sometimes chemistry can work on the fly for a team like Boston that’s mostly all the same players from last year, but in Philly’s case switching lines up on the fly like that for a game against a premiere opponent was begging for trouble. Add to that that the Flyers are still working out the chemistry together themselves and adding a new player into the mix to top it off and you’ve got a recipe for a beat down.

Losing one game like this isn’t the end of the world for the Flyers, of course, it’s just a bit awkward that a big lineup shuffle like that would occur suddenly before a “big” game. In Boston, they had to shake things up because it wasn’t working. With Philly, it was cruising along nicely before the Schenn addition. Now the question is: How long will it take them to figure it out?

Mike Modano will take Johan Franzen’s place if he can’t play on injured ankle

Mike Modano
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When Johan Franzen missed Game 4 in the Red Wings first round series with Phoenix, many assumed it was due to his horrific looking facial injuries suffered when he went face-first into the boards in Game 2. After all, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think he may have suffered a concussion or was still dealing with other issues taking such a spill into the boards.

Turns out Franzen’s ankle is what’s been bothering him after hurting it in Game 3 against Phoenix. It was bothering him so much that it took him out of action for Game 4 of that series and after getting by on it poorly so far in this series and taking another hit to it from Joe Thornton in last night’s Game 5, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is looking at other options.

The leading choice he can make right now is in the form of 40 year-old American hockey legend Mike Modano. Modano took Franzen’s spot in Game 4 against Phoenix and while Modano has been a bit sullen throughout the playoffs about not getting to play more often, or at all, coach Mike Babcock says the job is his if Franzen cannot go.

When asked after the Wings arrived back in Detroit Monday afternoon about Franzen’s status for Game 6 Babcock said, “I don’t know. I’m not going to worry about that much. We’ll see what happens. If he’s not ready to go, we’ll put Modano in.”

Babcock says he’s not worried about Franzen but he should be. Franzen has been a huge performer in the past in the playoffs scoring goals by the bucketload. Now, Franzen with his gimpy ankle have been laboring around the ice and ineffective. Making a potential switch now would make sense to have a fully healthy array of starters. That said, if Babcock offers to go with Franzen who may be at 70% of what he can do, that speaks volumes about what he makes of Modano’s (or anyone else who could fill into the lineup) ability.

In the playoffs you need your best players to be at their best, but if they’re hurting so badly that their presence is detrimental to the team, that pride in wanting to play might need to be put aside for a while to get healthier to a point. I doubt Franzen would ever take himself out of the lineup and that’s where Babcock has to be absolutely sure he’s making the right move for both the player and team.

Bruins notes: Patrice Bergeron in good spirits, Tyler Seguin to play wing

Tyler Seguin

While the Bruins wait out the Western Conference to finish things up so they can really gear up for their Eastern Conference finals matchup against Tampa Bay, there’s a few things they’ve got to get sorted out ahead of time. With one big injury and a lineup spot to fill and work around, Claude Julien’s job is going to be a bit busy in the days leading up to the East finals.

With Patrice Bergeron set to miss the start of the series thanks to a concussion, the team is hopeful they’ll get their leading scorer in the playoffs back at some point. With Bergeron’s concussion history the prospects don’t appear to be too good for that to happen quickly. There is some positive news from Bergeron today as his agent Kent Hughes gives CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty an update on how Bergeron is feeling.

There’s no telling when Bergeron will be feeling good and cleared for skating again after suffering his third concussion in the last 3 ½ years, but Hughes had one more piece of good news when asked about his spirits when the agent did speak with him.

“Pretty good, actually,” replied Hughes in an email.

Spirits being good is one thing compared to how he’s actually doing. Given that Bergeron’s injury was described as a “mild concussion” similar to the diagnosis Sidney Crosby got for his, expecting a timetable to be set for Bergeron’s return would be unwise.

As for Bergeron’s replacement in the lineup, Tyler Seguin was back at practice today and working out with his likely linemates. Bergeron had been working out as one of the team’s top two centers along with David Krejci, but Seguin won’t be playing center nor will he be put in the unenviable position of having to equal Bergeron’s game. Haggerty has more from Bruins practice about who he’ll be lining up with.

Tyler Seguin has joined the group of 12 forwards at practice, and is skating on the wing with Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder on Boston’s third line. The top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton remain intact and Chris Kelly stepped in for Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi.

Seguin lining up with Ryder and Peverley makes it a virtual line of misfit toys as Ryder is/was vilified by fans and Seguin was parked in the press box all through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Peverley’s been a solid trooper all around since coming over from Atlanta at the trade deadline. I’ll be worth watching to see if this line can get things going at all and give the Bruins some scoring depth and help they’ll need to break through the Tampa 1-3-1 defense as well as Dwayne Roloson.

If Seguin is slow to get going or can’t get his offense going at all and the Bruins struggle, expect the grumbling to pick up substantially from the fans who have been calling for Seguin to play all along and worry about his development as a potential cornerstone player. Winning cures all ills and so far the Bruins rolling along in the playoffs have kept the fans happy, but if trouble strikes, the grumbling will begin and it will be loud.

Blackhawks put 6’8″ John Scott into lineup for Game 3; Is he the new Dustin Byfuglien?

John Scott, Cam Janssen

You might say the Chicago Blackhawks are in a bit of a desperate situation. They’re down 2-0 to Vancouver and with Game 3 tonight in Chicago, they need to do a bit more to try to get through to Roberto Luongo and make him uncomfortable.

Enter 6’8″ defenseman and part-time forward John Scott.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is putting Scott into the lineup for Game 3 in place of Bryan Bickell (out with a cut wrist) and his reason for getting him in there is simple: “Size.”

As for Scott himself, he’s of course excited to get the chance to play in the playoffs and potentially play the same kind of role that Dustin Byfuglien did the last two years for Chicago in that he makes life uncomfortable for Luongo and creates enough of a distraction so the Canucks get off their game. Ben Kuzma of The White Towel hears it from Scott about what he’s looking to do tonight.

“I’ve got to go and throw the weight around. I’m going to hit as much as I can but I’m not going to be crazy. We’ve got to throw everything we have at the net. We’ve given him [Luongo] too many easy saves. We kind of let him off the hook a bit.”

Scott has a reputation as a guy unafraid to throw off the gloves and throw punches instead, something Vancouver fans might recall a bit too well. Scott’s well aware that he can provide that spark if needed as well.

“Yeah, we go back to Minnesota days and I beat up a couple of their guys a couple of times,” said Scott. “If they want to go tonight, I’ll be happy to oblige.”

Someone please hide Alexandre Bolduc in a safe house so he doesn’t start having flashbacks to the time when Scott pummeled him playing for Minnesota. Suffice to say, I don’t think anyone wants to drop the gloves in the playoffs, never mind with a monster like John Scott.

The real analysis on this move though is that Chicago is desperate to change things up a bit and they want to get Vancouver to get really uncomfortable one way or another whether its through John Scott casting shadows on Luongo or punching everyone’s lights out. It’s a curious choice by Chicago but if it works out and Vancouver goes back down the rabbit hole and melts down psychologically, it’s absolutely worth it.

That said, if John Scott is the key to beating Vancouver, we give up on the Canucks. We’re betting that Vancouver is loving this lineup change because Scott isn’t exactly a world beater on the ice and they’ve got Chicago on the ropes. That could all change though if Chicago pulls off a win.