The Philadelphia Flyers have the depth to roll four lines out every game, but the biggest question on the offensive side of the puck is how often do the secondary scorers contribute?
The Flyers did score 212 goals last season, but 96 of them came from Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and Michael Raffl. These four forwards were the only players to score more than 20 goals in the season. The rest of the forwards that played regularly during the season contributed 79 goals.
The defensive duo of Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto combined for 19 goals, which was three more then the 16 that forwards Matt Read and Vincent Lecavalier combined to score. Read played through a high ankle sprain for most of the season last year and that slowed him down. Lecavalier has a chance to work with a new head coach and a clean slate. There is a slim chance that he surprises everyone and has a bounce back season.
Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier will be under pressure to produce for the opposite reasons. Schenn had 18 goals to go with 47 points last season, but he hasn’t had his breakout season offensively yet. This could be the year with a contract on the line since he is a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Couturier just signed a six-year extension in the off season. He has a new coach and contract so look for him to have the breakout season that everyone has been waiting for him to have.
The Flyers got some more depth with the addition of Sam Gagner. He can play all three forward positions. Gagner had 15 goals and 41 points with the Arizona Coyotes last season. R.J. Umberger is another guy that can play all three forward positions. He had nine goals last season before having hip surgery. Will he be able to bounce back and contribute to this offense?
The surprise player on offense could be Chris VandeVelde. Dave Hakstol, the Flyers new head coach, is familiar with VandeVelde because he was his college coach. VandeVelde has the advantage of knowing the system that Hakstol wants his team to play and VandeVelde will also know what is expected from the team. It should be interesting to see how Hakstol uses VandeVelde during the course of games.
The defense will also contribute some on offense. Streit and Del Zotto contributed 19 goals to go along with 84 total points in the offense last season. The other defensemen will contribute in the offensive zone, but not nearly as much as those two.
If the primary and secondary scorers can be on the same page then the Flyers could be a scary team in the offensive zone.