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A Good Read

Matt Read hopes his versatility helps dodge a sophomore slump

Thursday, 01.10.2013 / 5:22 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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A Good Read
VOORHEES, N.J. \u2013 Matt Read isn\u2019t sneaking up on anyone this season \u2013 and he knows it.\r\n\r\nSo he\u2019s coming into his second professional season with a different approach \u2013 he\u2019s going to be a chameleon.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019s just going to blend into the mix for the Flyers, playing a variety of roles \u2013 namely whatever the Flyers need him to do at the specific time. \r\n\r\nWinger on one of the top two lines? He\u2019ll look to score. Playing third line minutes, he\u2019ll look to shut down the opponent\u2019s top scorers. \r\n\r\nHe\u2019ll play penalty kill, he\u2019ll get time on the power play, heck, there\u2019s a good chance he might play some center too at the beginning of the season with Danny Briere expected to miss the first few games.

VOORHEES, N.J. – Matt Read isn’t sneaking up on anyone this season – and he knows it.

So he’s coming into his second professional season with a different approach – he’s going to be a chameleon.

He’s just going to blend into the mix for the Flyers, playing a variety of roles – namely whatever the Flyers need him to do at the specific time.

Winger on one of the top two lines? He’ll look to score. Playing third line minutes, he’ll look to shut down the opponent’s top scorers.

He’ll play penalty kill, he’ll get time on the power play, heck, there’s a good chance he might play some center too at the beginning of the season with Danny Briere expected to miss the first few games.

“I’ll just fill in at different positions all over the ice,” Read said after another informal practice Thursday. “I’m very versatile. I can play on any line. I just want to concentrate on defense as much as I can and help this team win. We have so many good offensive guys on this team, so you don’t need so much from me, but I’ll still contribute whenever I can.”

Of course, that’s Read being his ever-humble self.

He was fourth on the team in goals with 24, which led all rookies in the NHL last season. He also finished with 47 points, fourth most among rookies in the NHL. He also led all rookies in game-wining goals with six and finished a plus-13, fourth among rookies.

The big question is, can Read repeat that kind of production, albeit in a shortened season.

“Time will tell when the season starts,” Read said. “But I’m just going to stick to the basics and make sure you do the right thing when you get the puck and get to the open ice to help your teammates. I want to be the hardest-working guy out there. Hopefully I’ll have some opportunities and get some lucky goals and lucky points.”

Read was at his best last season playing with Briere and Wayne Simmonds. With Briere unable to start the season, don’t be surprised to see Read slide to the middle as coach Peter Laviolette looks for another player in camp to take on the left wing role.

There’s no doubt Read and Simmonds have some chemistry, so to see them together makes sense. But Read isn’t concerned about who he plays with. He just looks to challenge himself in different ways in each game.

“It doesn’t really matter to me,” he said. “I like being versatile. That way, every game is a different challenge. If you’re put in a shut-down role and playing against their top line, that’s fine. Then if you are on the top two lines you’re supposed to produce goals. You make the best of every opportunity and be prepared to play any position in any game.”

And in the process, he wants to make sure he doesn’t hit that famous second-season swoon.

“They always talk about the sophomore slump,” said Read, 26. “I think being more mature and older than most rookies I can [withstand] the pressure and keep working hard and try to be a top player in this league.”

..................................................

Tom Sestito, whose recovery from the mumps delayed his arrival to Philadelphia, skated for the first time Thursday.

He was joined by a good number of Flyers teammates for the hour-long practice, however Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros and Ilya Bryzgalov took the day off.

Former Flyer Brian Boucher filled in as the second goalie at practice. He said he was headed to Raleigh, N.C. to join the Carolina Hurricanes Friday.

…………………………………..

Wayne Simmonds is finally en route to Philly and could be in town as soon as Friday. His arrival was delayed a few days because he misplaced his Passport. Simmonds is the last remaining veteran to report.

Members of the Adirondack Phantoms (AHL) can’t be recalled until the CBA is ratified by the players, so the expected call-ups won’t arrive until the weekend – likely Saturday night.

The players expected to be called up to the Flyers include Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Tye McGinn, Zac Rinaldo, Eric Wellwood and Brandon Manning.

Scott Laughton, playing for Oshawa in the OHL, is also expected to be at camp.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or you can follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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