The whispers of the re-worked Flyers lineup have finally been confirmed — forward Dan Carcillo will enter the lineup for James Van Riemsdyk and defenseman Oskars Bartulis will play for Ryan Parent. Michael Leighton will start in goal.
“You battle all year with these guys and you want to be in at this time of year,”Carcillo told the media on Monday. “It was hard sitting out those three games. I’ve got a lot of pent-up energy you’ll probably see released tonight.”
Chicago’s Adam Burish, who hit Flyers defenseman Lukas Krajicek from behind in game 1, was not impressed with Carcillo’s activation.
“Bring it on,” he said. “It’s another guy with long hair and another guy with a scraggly beard, I guess, in their lineup. It doesn’t change anything for me. I don’t care who they play.”
The always truculent 25-year-old Carcillo has been healthy scratched since game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens due to the return of forwards Jeff Carter and Ian Laperriere. Coach Peter Laviolette said it was one of the toughest decisions he’s had to make as coach and that Carcillo would play again in the post season. Well, he wasn’t lying. Carcillo, who has two goals and four assists this post season, replaces rookie Van Riemsdyk, who had a very tentative game 1, registering no shots with a minus-2.
The Flyers forward lines will look like this…
Carcillo – Richards – Carter
Hartnell – Briere – Leino
Gagne – Giroux – Asham
Powe – Betts – Laperriere
On the blue line, after playing just one 41-second shift and giving up a goal in game 1, Parent was benched for the rest of the contest. There was heavy speculation that he would be replaced due to his lack of reliability. Bartulis, a 23-year-old stay-at-home defenseman, hasn’t played since game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New Jersey Devils.
For the Blackhawks, it’s more of the same. Forward Andrew Ladd did not skate again this morning and will be replaced again by Tomas Kopecky, who is no shabby substitute, scoring a key goal and assist in game 1.