‘It’s very hard to take’: Lecavalier to be healthy scratched for first time


Yesterday, Flyers owner Ed Snider lamented his club’s lack of secondary scoring by calling out a number of forwards — including Vincent Lecavalier.

Shortly thereafter, Lecavalier took another hit.

The former Rocket Richard winner learned he’d be parked as a healthy scratch on Tuesday when the Flyers take on the Sharks in San Jose, per the Daily News.


The fact that Lecavalier would be a healthy scratch for the first time in his illustrious career really hit him yesterday, though, when he saw his name penciled next to injured player Ryan White on the fifth line for practice at SAP Center.

“It’s very hard to take,” Lecavalier said. “It was a tough night, when you’re told something like that. I talked to [coach Craig Berube]. We had a conversation, but I’m out of the lineup. It’s as simple as that.”

Lecavalier has never been in Berube’s good graces, so there’s little surprise he’s the one receiving a message while the team’s in a tailspin (1-7-1 in their last nine). And Lecavalier has earned this scratch on his own merits: Goalless in 12 games, with just one point in the last nine.

That said, and as Snider alluded to, he’s not the only secondary scorer struggling to produce. Matt Read has one goal in his last 16 games, Sean Couturier has one point in his last 10 and Wayne Simmonds, who started the year on fire with six goals in his first 10 games, has just two in his last 13.

Regardless, it’s Lecavalier that’ll sit tonight at SAP.

“I think it’s a competitive thing with him,” Berube explained. “I just don’t see enough of it out there. I’ve got to see more.

“Guys that are playing in the lineup need to find urgency quicker. That’s their job. We definitely need to play with more urgency, and we need to play with more structure in our game.”

‘Never seen anything like it’: Snider rips Philly’s lack of secondary scoring


The Flyers have two of the NHL’s top six scorers at the moment — Jakub Voracek (2nd, 32 points) and Claude Giroux (6th, 27) — yet sit just sixth in the Metropolitan Division with an ugly 8-12-3 record.

One big reason why? Not enough points from forwards not named Voracek or Giroux. And that’s got owner Ed Snider miffed.

“Never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve been in hockey,” Snider said of his club’s lack of secondary scoring, per the Philly Inquirer. “Even when we were an expansion team, somebody chipped in here and there.”

Consider the following:

— Matt Read, a two-time 20 goal scorer, has one goal in his last 16 games.

— Sean Couturier, who scored a career-high 39 points last year, has one point in his last 10.

— Wayne Simmonds, who scored six goals in his first 10 games of the year, has two in his last 13.

The slumps are out there for all to see, including Snider. Which probably explains why he called out each of these guys individually.

“We have two of the best forwards in the league, but two players can’t turn around a team,” he explained. “What’s going on with everybody else? What’s going on with Couturier, Read, Simmonds, and the other guys? They should be chipping in with some goals.

“It’s weird. I’m not going to give up on those guys. Even [Vinny] Lecavalier got 20 goals last year. What happened?”

As Snider’s words suggest, these are not good times for the Flyers. The club is 1-7-1 over its last nine and now begins a difficult stretch of road games, with four games in seven nights in San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Columbus.

If someone can’t step up and provide some offense behind the big two of Voracek and Giroux on this trip, Philly could be in danger of falling behind the ‘Canes and Blue Jackets in the Metro — not a good place to be for a team intent on making the postseason.

Video: Two quick third-period goals propel Flyers over rival Penguins


Just like that, from a tied game to a two-goal Philadelphia Flyers lead.

First, it was R.J. Umberger, involved in a fight with Simon Despres earlier in the game, scoring to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead. It was also his first of the season. Timely.

It came less than a minute after the Penguins thought they had perhaps taken the lead on an Evgeni Malkin goal, but that was waved off after officials went to video review and confirmed the call on the ice that the puck never crossed the goal line, according to the league’s Situation Room Blog.

Matt Read added the two-goal cushion for Philadelphia – and what a beauty it was – just two minutes after the Umberger goal.

Again, for Read, his first of the season. What better way to get of the schneid? The goals came before the midway point of the third period, helping give the visiting Flyers a 5-3 win over their bitter rivals from Pittsburgh.

For the Flyers, it was a strong response after getting thoroughly dominated the night before by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Flyers did lose Zac Rinaldo to an upper-body injury. His last shift came at the end of the first period. Earlier in the opening period, 29-year-old Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, originally from France, scored his first NHL goal to give Philadelphia a lead after 20 minutes.


Flyers ‘not concerned’ with injuries to Couturier, Emery


From our friends at CSN Philly:

Sean Couturier (upper body) and Ray Emery (lower body) on Friday both missed their second practices with injuries and are day to day.

General manager Ron Hextall said none of the injuries are serious.

Asked if he was concerned about Couturier or Emery, [coach Craig] Berube replied, “No, I’m not concerned right now. I think we’re OK.”

It wasn’t reported how either injury was suffered.

Couturier is expected to be a key player this season for Philly, with the 21-year-old potentially centering a second line between Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read.

The Flyers play the Devils Sunday in New Jersey.

Related: Giroux (lower body) back at practice, says he’ll play in season opener

Much to his relief, Lecavalier will start season at center


Vincent Lecavalier could still end up playing the wing for the Philadelphia Flyers, but he’ll start the season at his natural position of center.

And the 34-year-old sounds pretty darn happy about it.

From CSN Philly:

When the club’s main training camp opens Friday morning on the ice, Lecavalier will be at center, not wing, [coach Craig] Berube said.

How long he stays there is unknown, but Berube did say recently, “He’ll start the season at center.”

When Lecavalier heard that through a reporter, you could see relief come across his face.

“That is significantly good to hear,” he said. “I am more comfortable in the middle. …”

Of course, that begs the question — which players will Lecavalier line up between?

Flyers beat writer Randy Miller (NJ.com) expects Lecavalier to be the “third-line center” with R.J. Umberger on the left side and either Michael Raffl or Jason Akeson on the right.

The top two lines, according to Miller, would look like this:

Brayden Schenn-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek
Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds

Whatever the combinations end up, Lecavalier sounds like he just wants to put last season behind him.

“You have to move on,” he said. “And I believe in this team.”

Related: Lecavalier believes he can be better after ‘tough year’