Philadelphia Flyers: 3 potential top line combinations for 2018-19

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Flyers
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3. James van Riemsdyk-Sean Couturier-Claude Giroux

This line combination would have to force either Giroux or JVR to switch wing positions and I chose Giroux since he played right wing in the minors and is also a right-handed shooter.

This would give Giroux a good, shoot-first forward to play alongside in James van Riemsdyk, as outside of maybe Wayne Simmonds, you could argue that there wasn’t a shoot-first forward in the entire NHL roster last season. This gives Giroux, and Couturier to a lesser extent, more of a chance to showcase their elite playmaking abilities and set JVR up for some heavy one-time shots.

Adding JVR to this line also gives the Flyers another player who drives to the net well without the puck, like Couturier. Hakstol likes for his defensemen to shoot from the point to generate deflected shots and/or rebounds off the goaltender. With JVR and Couturier together, there’s a better chance that a goal will be scored using this coaching tactic. Not only does JVR drive the net well, but he’s also a good shot-deflector and a big body too. The screens he sets will only help the team moving forward.

Keeping Giroux and Couturier together on the same line is also a must for me unless of course one of them is injured. They play off of each other very well, and some could say that Giroux was the main reason why Couturier’s offense confidence and the game took off last year.

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Giroux passed to Couturier more than any other player on the team, and vice-versa. Splitting them up would be a very big mistake and wouldn’t make a lot of sense to me given the success they showed.