The easy answer is that Wayne Simmonds’ return to the Flyers’ lineup should help more than just the top two lines score. The deeper answer, and it sounds like coach Dave Hakstol has put considerable thought into this, has just as much to do with Simmonds’ linemates as it does the alternate captain and power-play weapon. Simmonds missed the last seven games with what the team called an “upper-body injury,” and is set to return Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’ll be on the same line was last year around this time — with Valtteri Filppula and Jordan Weal. “I think it’s about having all four lines that make sense and have all four of the lines having some chemistry,” Hakstol said. “That group has played together quite a bit. They had a lot of success this time last year. They played eight games together earlier this year and because of a lot of different reasons we had to go away from it, but that group is real familiar with Fil up the middle there and I think it gives us four lines that we have confidence in.” Filppula has been the third- or fourth-line center depending on the night and Weal has been a rare disappointment on a Flyers team that is contending for first place in its division. Last season Weal finished with eight goals and 12 points in his final 19 games.
Wayne Simmonds' return will help Flyers' depth and maybe more
Courier-Post | Mar 8