Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers

GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Downie-Couturier-Read reunited in hopes of a spark
Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 1:23 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
X
Share with your Friends


Flyers Inside Out

PHILADELPHIA – It’s not because he’s on a “Mission from God” but Flyers coach Craig Berube has decided to put the band back together.

By that, we’re referring to his shutdown line of Steve Downie, Sean Couturier and Matt Read.

When the trio played together for 18 games from mid-November to mid-December, they were as good a line as the Flyers had, and during that stretch of games, were one of the best two-way lines in the league.

Game after game, Berube would put the trio out there against the top line of whichever opponent was on the docket and in most instances, the Flyers shut those big guns down.

The team was 11-4-3 with that trio together and in that time, they combined for 37 points – not too shabby for a third line.

Downie (2-10-12), Couturier (6-7-13) and Read (7-5-12) posted nearly a fourth of the Flyers total offense in those 18 games (24.4 percent) which is pretty impressive for a third line on any team, especially when you include points by defensemen into the equation.

So, why didn’t they stay together?

Well, it was a combination of things. First, they started to have a few off games. Road games in Dallas, Ottawa and Washington were not the best for the line as top tier players like Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and Alex Ovechkin had strong games against the Flyers.

Then, Downie suffered an upper-body injury that threw took him out of the lineup and in turn off his game.

Read later suffered a hit that cause concussion-like symptoms that cost him a couple weeks. Once all three were healthy again, Downie was struggling to find his game and couldn’t stay in the lineup.

But now, with the team having lost four straight (0-3-1), Berube wants to go back to something that worked previously.

“I’m trying to get Steve going and he played his best hockey with them,” Berube said. “They were a good line when they were together and I haven’t seen the same out of the three of them [collectively] since. I’m looking for some spark there.”

Berube hopes to get it against a Detroit team that comes to Philadelphia completely beat up. They will be without top players goalie Jimmy Howard and forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Stephen Weiss – all nursing injuries.

If he can jump start that line again, it will also help defensively, as the Flyers have allowed three goals or more in each of the last nine games (2-5-2).

“This is an opportunity and we’ll see where it goes,” Downie said. “We’ve got to play smart hockey and stick to the system. We can’t play out of our element. We know what each of us brings to the table, so the best thing to do is stick to the game plan.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

NOTES: Berube made a couple other changes to his line combinations as well. Scott Hartnell is back on the top line, Vinny Lecavalier is back on the left wing with Brayden Schenn at center and Michael Raffl is down on the fourth line with Chris Vandevelde and Adam Hall. Berube said Raffl hasn’t done anything to deserve a demotion, nor should he view this as one because he’d like to get the fourth line more minutes. “I think he helps the fourth line,” Berube said. “He’s been a good player. Wherever he goes, people seem to play good around him. It’s important both tonight and on this road trip that we have four lines ready to go. It’ll be a better fourth line with him on it.” … Zac Rinaldo was a full participant in practice, but he won’t play tonight. He is day-to-day at this point… Jay Rosehill, Andrej Meszaros and Hal Gill remain the healthy scratches… Steve Mason gets the start in goal… Former Flyer Vinny Prospal officially announced his retirement today after 16 seasons... The Flyers have won seven straight against Detroit at Wells Fargo Center and haven’t lost a game to them here since Game 2 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Gostisbehere 6 1 1 0 2
B. Schenn 6 0 2 2 2
W. Simmonds 6 0 2 -1 2
S. Gagner 6 0 2 1 2
J. Voracek 6 1 0 -1 1
M. Raffl 6 1 0 0 1
R. White 6 1 0 0 1
C. VandeVelde 6 1 0 -1 1
A. MacDonald 6 1 0 0 1
B. Manning 6 0 1 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 2 1 0 .981 0.67
S. Mason 0 3 0 .852 4.09
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.