Scott Laughton Added to the Playoff Roster, Should Get Playing Time >

by Michael DeNicola

Friday, April 25, 2014 --

The Flyers have added Scott Laughton to their Playoff roster, but Berube mentioned yesterday he will *not* play in tonight's Game 4. 

As a reminder: our Club has the opportunity to play Laughton in nine games without torching Year 1 of 3 on his entry-level SPC. A tenth game played would result in an entire League Year being spent. 

Should he be playing sooner than later? My opinion is yes. That's both the fan in me and my tactical viewpoint. Will his 87-points in 54 OHL games translate to the big stage? Tell ya what, there's no bigger test than the Playoff arena -- and there shouldn't be any worrying over whether the decision would "ruin his development" or not. He's either ready or he isn't. 

Watching these past three tilts versus the Blueshirts, I'm sensing Rinaldo isn't playing on same edge he was prior to his suspension. There's hesitation in his game, and frankly... unless that's the player we're getting on a gamely basis, his presence is virtually ineffective. I'd slot Laughton in that roster spot, and feed Rinaldo a king's meal in the press box. 

With Laughton (sweater #21) dressing, I propose the following forward line combinations --

93 - 14 - 28
24 - 12 - 17
10 - 40 - 42
19 - 21 - 18

Key points I should deliver: Giroux's natural position is RW. Voracek has played LW in the international arena. Brayden's demotion is a product of his postseason play -- it has been disappointing, which is an incredible understatement. Hartnell's demotion to Line4 is my attempt to keep depth at LW, as well as pairing offensive flare with newcomer Scott Laughton.

Based from my observations, Couturier has been the best forechecker in this series, and considering Giroux's absence of production offensively, I think Couturier would open a wide margin of space and opportunity for Giroux & Voracek to capitalize on. It's a Hail Mary move, I acknowledge that, but it isn't irrational. Couturier doesn't need to produce top-line offensive numbers either.

With these lines, my aim is to combine forechecking strength with pure offensive ability, all the while sustaining depth (which has been a strength of ours).


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