What will Flyers lines look like in 2017? Here's what fans think
Flyers fans voted on an online ballot for how they think the team should set up its offensive and defensive lines for the 2017-18 season.
Roster competition is nothing new for the Flyers.
Yet, this year feels a lot different than those camp battles in the past. There’s a chance that from top to bottom, this year’s Flyers lineup is as skilled as any they’ve had in recent years. There’s a mix of veterans in their prime and youth infusion that Flyers fans are hoping equate to a perfect balance.
With so many possibilities, this September will be a fun one to watch as management figures out who goes where. During the down time of July and August, Metro sent out a form for our readers and followers with the simple task of setting the lines and the defensive pairings.
If you haven’t voted yet and would like to, click the link to open the form.
As of noon, there have been over 200 ballots submitted, which gives us a lot of data to handle. Without further ado, let’s roll out the lines according to the first 215 ballots with the percentage of each player appearing on a ballot for that designated line:
1st line: Jordan Weal (39.5%) – Claude Giroux (98.1%) – Jake Voracek (63.3%)
2nd line: Travis Konecny (50.7%) – Nolan Patrick (47.4%) – Wayne Simmonds (58.1%)
3rd line: Oskar Lindblom (48.8%) – Sean Couturier (50.7%) – Valterri Filppula (62.8%)
4th line: Michael Raffl (47.9%) – Jori Lehtera (48.8%) – Scott Laughton (60%)
1st pair: Ivan Provorov (93.5%) – Radko Gudas (50.7%)
2nd pair: Shayne Gostisbehere (78.6%) – Sam Morin (54.9%)
3rd pair: Robert Hagg (50.2%) – Travis Sanheim (46.5%)
Goalie in a must-win game: Brian Elliott (80.5%)
Who makes the starting lineup? (in order of a player’s percentage appearing on each ballot)
The 100% club: Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, Shayne Gostisbehere
— A lot has been made about Scott Laughton, but early indications suggest fans are ready for Laughton’s chance. His biggest competition in camp is likely to be Mike Vecchione, who appeared on almost 25% fewer ballots than Laughton.
—While Jordan Weal came away as the biggest winner (he gets to play next to Giroux and Voracek), Weal also proved to be the most versatile, appearing on 20.5% of 2nd line, 27.9% on 3rd line and 7.9% on 4th line.
— If it’s not Weal on the top line, fans voted in Travis Konecny (33%) as the next best bet.
— It’s unlikely that you’ll see three rookies in the defensive pairings, so expect Travis Sanheim to begin in Lehigh Valley. If all three do somehow make the roster, fans would rather see Andrew MacDonald as the extra man than Brandon Manning it seems.
— Outside of Giroux being nearly unanimous on top line, there weren’t a whole lot of other clear frontrunners for any given line, even Jake Voracek showed up nearly 40% between lines two and three, so it was interesting to see Filppula receive such strong support on the third line.
— For the goalies, Brian Elliott is clearly the man fans will be entrusting in net. Michal Neuvirth received just 11.6% of votes to start in a must-win game. Anthony Stolarz took in 6.5% and a few rather optimistic fans went Alex Lyon (1.4%).