Mailbag: Who fills in for Raffl?


With Michael Raffl out for six weeks, which Flyers will step up? This week's mailbag answers that and more. (Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)

It's time for another week of mailbag questions. Let's take a look at what we have this week.

Who will step up with the loss of Michael Raffl? And which Phantom player do you see being called up? – Antonio W.

In the interim, Chris VandeVelde fills Raffl's spot on the top line. The Flyers also didn't need to call anybody up with Jason Akeson sitting as a healthy scratch and Blair Jones fresh off waivers and back with the Flyers instead of making the trip to Lehigh Valley.

But both questions have potential to be answered from a different angle. VandeVelde takes Raffl's place on his line, for now. But who steps up? Hopefully Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read. I'd like to see all three of them really find their scoring touch. Simmonds really showed it early in the season and has cooled since. 

From the Phantoms, I believe the next forward up is either Scott Laughton or Taylor Leier. But for now, I'd say get used to seeing Akeson and Jones. They are the most likely place-fillers at this point.

In a completely healthy team – excluding Kimmo Timonen – who sits, who plays? – Josh R.

Interesting question. Beings the Flyers haven't been fully healthy all season, it really makes you think. Taking away Timonen, there are still seven defensemen who could play. Five are very obvious. For the final spot, even with a small sample size, I probably pick Carlo Colaiacovo over Luke Schenn.

The forwards require some careful thought as well, but in the end, I think this is how the Flyers would do things as well. I love what VandeVelde brings to the team. Top-line player? Probably not. But as a fourth-line player he fits the role well. I like him over Jones and Akeson, who are really the only two guys to sit at the position.

How sweet is it to see Marc-Andre Fleury in Pittsburgh for four more years? – Ike B.

Nothing wrong with a little shot at the Penguins. A four-year contract for a goalie with the type of playoff success that Fleury has is just baffling. He's a solid goaltender all-in-all, but time and time again he has failed in the clutch and let in some really soft goals. The Penguins got their Cup with him once. I think those days are far behind him and to commit four more years to him…well let's just say that's good news for the four or five times a season – excluding playoffs of course – that the Flyers face the Penguins.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

Go to top button