One player who is hoping to get back on track is Vinny Lecavalier. The Flyers forward has really struggled in the 24 games since returning from a back injury. Since his return on December 21st, he has just three goals and six assists while going five whole games without recording a shot on goal.
The Flyers coaches felt a change would be beneficial for both Lecavalier and the team so they moved the 33-year-old from his natural center spot to left wing, a position he has never played before. Lecavalier told CSN Philly, "I’ve never played that side. It’s where I am at so I've got to try and adjust, and I have to adjust." He went on to explain that he is "getting more comfortable, but it’s not [his] natural position."
And when you think about it, it's a tough situation. He has played 15 years in the NHL primarily at center but has also played a bit of right wing, not left. Now he is being asked to play a position he never played before because he hasn't been productive at his natural position.
To the defense of the coaching staff, they needed a shakeup. The team was muttering in mediocrity and staying on the same path wasn't going to get them anywhere.
Obviously Lecavalier can't be the first-line center because that's where captain Claude Giroux is stationed. On the second line, Brayden Schenn has had a solid year with 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points in 59 games and appears to be improving with each game. Sean Couturier has the third-line job locked down as the team's best defensive center so that only leaves one of the wings or the fourth line for Lecavalier.
With 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 46 games, it is hard to argue that Lecavalier deserved to stay in the center when the Flyers are getting productivity from their top three centers right now.
At the end of the day, it is all about winning hockey games. If it takes moving Lecavalier to the wing to win consistently then I think everybody, even Lecavalier, would agree that needs to be game plan.
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