Trade candidates or not, Flyers getting recent scoring from secondary players

As the trade deadline nears on Monday afternoon, Flyers fans have already started to speculate which players may be traded due, particularly those with good recent performance.

This can be hard to predict, because the number of players with good recent play is increasing and general manager Ron Hextall claims he is not considering a trade for a "rental" player.

The recent player performance could be due to a playoff point war among several teams or the coaching of first-year head coach Dave Hakstol. But with all of those items aside, the positive playing needs to be recognized. Secondary scoring has had a major impact on the Flyers recent run.

Three secondary players in particular deserve some recognition.

The creation of the second line of Brayden SchennSam GagnerWayne Simmonds in the wake of Claude Giroux's injury made this line the one to watch on the ice. Gagner had a lot to do with it. He seemed a natural in position with Schenn and he knew where the puck was going and where to put it next.

For Saturday's game against the Arizona Coyotes, his former team, he was placed on a line with Michael Raffl and Sean Couturier and the confident play continued. He scored a goal for the third time in four games and continued to be a positive impact.

Scott Laughton has made much improvement as the season progresses. He is bringing energy to his play, using his speed and showing more determination and hockey smarts in recent games.

With Nick Cousins called up, it could be some motivation to compete for a spot, but the pivotal point in his improvement is when he was changed position, moving from center to left wing. With five games on the left wing, Laughton has scored two goals and added three assists with a plus-4 rating. Not only is he giving Cousins a run for that NHL spot, he is forming great chemistry with his former Lehigh Valley teammate.

As Jake Voracek was sidelined for the first time on Saturday, Hakstol shuffled lines, but did not change anybody on the fourth line. They work well together but recently this line has been producing with the help of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

He has only five goals this season, but scored two of them in his last five games after going 30 games without a goal. Both goals were incredibly timely.

The deadline in years past has been about moving some of the dead weight, foregoing on dimming playoff hopes for what is to come. The Flyers will have some weight to shed in the offseason and spaces to create for new hopefuls. But that said, their current standing may just make them be a little more quiet at the deadline and give the best of both worlds.

This is deadline day. Onlookers wait in anticipation for something, if anything at all, to happen. Let it be known, however, that the Flyers better play of late could mean nothing much on the trade front and more about seeing what they can get out of the last 22 games of the season in hopes of returning to the playoffs.

Denise Mroz is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow her on Twitter @denisemroz10.

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