The day before Game 1 against Boston, the Flyers appear to be making one lineup change. At practice today, Chuck Gormley reported that the Flyers are likely to insert either Zac Rinaldo or Jody Shelley as the 12th forward, replacing 7th defenseman Danny Syvret.
This is not much of a surprise, as Danny Syvret did not touch the ice for the first 59:42 of Game 7 against the Sabres, due to Chris Pronger proving that he can handle over 17 minutes of ice time. Because of that, having a seventh defenseman just wasn’t necessary.
With Andreas Nodl and Jeff Carter still day-to-day with injury, the next likely forwards to dress would be Zac Rinaldo, Jody Shelley, and Ben Holmstrom. While it would be frustrating to see the team dress Jody Shelley, he will be a great cheerleader on the bench. It would be maddening if the team dressed Rinaldo, as he would offer nothing the team doesn’t already have in Dan Carcillo.
Preferably, the team would dress Ben Holmstrom, someone who is a young Darroll Powe. Holmstrom can take faceoffs, kill penalties, and even produce some offense – at least in the AHL. But either way, the 12th forward is unlikely to see even three minutes of ice time. It doesn’t matter much, but it would be a welcome change of pace for the Flyers to dress 12 forwards who can play hockey, not two forwards who are great at getting people to stop playing hockey.