Flyers Make Line Changes, Looking For Impact

85974710JM006_PITTSBURGH_PEDuring the latest rare occurence of a five-day break in between games, Coach John Stevens has had some time to watch and observe his team with quite a few practices. Changes were made. No, don’t get those thoughts, I meant line changes.

The past couple Flyers practices have looked a bit different.

Claude Giroux was taken off the Mike Richards-Simon Gagne line and will now be paired with James van Riemsdyk along with Ian Laperriere. “Things were clicking a bit, but it’s good to try new stuff, and we’ll see the next game how it goes,” Giroux said.

We just like the feel of it better,” said John Stevens. “I think Claude does good things with Richie and Gags, but I really like him in the middle of the ice. He gets the puck more, he’s a dynamic player in open ice, and he’s a playmaker.”

Arron Asham has been bumped up to the first line to play with Richards and Gagne. Asham who has been very effective since earning his spot back into the lineup, knows exactly what role he has to play.

“I know what my role is on that line,” said Asham. “I’m gonna give them the puck, crash the net, work in the corners and be a physical presence and make sure no one takes any liberties.”

Giroux will return to the same line he began the season with centering the same linemate JVR. Even though the Richards-Gagne-Giroux line created a lot of oppurtunites, change is sometimes a good thing especially to a team that has the depth to do so.

Stevens is very confident in his teams ability to adapt to any situation he puts them in and this one isnt’ any different.

“Richie is a very creative guy and has a lot of puck possession time, Gags is a shooter, and I do think you need a guy that goes to the net. [Asham] will get an opportunity and we hope he can provide that,” Stevens added.

The Flyers return to action Thursday when they faceoff against the Boston Bruins from the Wachovia Center.

Quotes: Flyers


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