Flyers Faithful asked Dave Isaac from Philly Sports Daily, Ryan from Flyers Goal Scored By…, Anthony Mingioni from The Hockey Guys,Center Ice Philly, and Sportsology, and our very own Frick five questions about the first half of the season. We are very grateful that they took the time to share their opinions and predictions with us. Each day of this week, we will run the answers to one of those questions. Today’s question is:
Aside from Briere, which forward will step up as a leader for the Flyers this season?
Dave Isaac: The two biggest names that will need to step up are Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk, but my money is on the latter to have a big year. Giroux already had to assume a bit of a bigger role last season, but now the pressure is on JvR to be the player who was a monster in the playoffs last season. I think he’s the one that will step up big time and start finding the back of the net more in 2011-12.
Ryan: I really think this is Scott Hartnell’s time unless he pulls a Fred Sanford. He must have grown a lot over the past year and I feel like he’s going to be a different kind of guy in the locker room with all the kids around. Hopefully that is reflected on the ice. Hartsy is going to turn 30 this season. Time for him to lead and get back to the 60 point mark. Time to solidify his reputation as a power forward.
Anthony Mingioni: Claude Giroux is being asked to step into a number of roles this season, most notably prime time on both power play and penalty killing units. Some are concerned that he was “protected” in the Flyers lineup by Richards and Carter. He’s going to be asked to handle a lot of the “hard minutes” that were shouldered by Richards and on the Hockey Guys, I detailed how Giroux during the later part of last season was already beginning to transition into those tougher minutes. The Flyers feel that he is ready to shoulder that burden. I agree with them.
Frick: Besides Talbot, who I think can bridge the gap between the young guys and the veterans, I think Hartnell will need to step up as a leader as well. He seems to be well-liked in the locker room, and could stand to cut back on the penalties and start leading by a hard-working example. Plus, Simba ended up being King of the Jungle, so…