Raffl’s injury puts VandeVelde on Flyers’ top line

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The Philadelphia Flyers have lost their co-goal scoring leader in Michael Raffl for six weeks and have replaced him with a man that’s scored two goals in 54 career games.

Chris VandeVelde, 27, seems like an odd choice to skate alongside Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, but Flyers coach Craig Berube has decided to put him on the top line over some of their bigger offensive weapons like Brayden Schenn. Part of the reason was Berube’s desire to keep Schenn’s line intact, but Berube argued that his decision was about more than just that.

“(VandeVelde)’s a big body who skates well,” Berube told CSN Philly. “We’re looking for a simple player on that line. G and Jake do a lot of the puck work and carrying the puck in the zone. We need a big body to go to the net, get in the corners, be physical, and he skates well.”

The Flyers first line has gotten off to a strong start this season and they need that to continue as Voracek and Giroux are a vital part of the team’s offense. They’ll test out their new unit tomorrow night against the Florida Panthers.