Flyers Notes: Shelley may see action on fourth line

Posted: April 30, 2011

Expecting a physical series, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette figures to use either veteran Jody Shelley or rookie Zac Rinaldo on the fourth line Saturday against Boston in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Shelley, the Flyers' enforcer, could make his first appearance since March 17 in Atlanta.

In the last two games of the conference quarterfinals against Buffalo, the Flyers dressed seven defensemen because they didn't know how much Chris Pronger could play. Pronger played 17 minutes, 27 seconds in Game 7 and seems close to being used in all situations.

That means defenseman Danny Syvret is likely to be a healthy scratch Saturday, and the Flyers will dress 12 forwards.

Asked whether the Flyers might use someone like Shelley on Saturday, Laviolette said: "Yeah, we certainly want to be physical and want to be ready to play in a physical game."

Shelley broke an orbital bone during a March 21 practice when a puck deflected by teammate Andreas Nodl hit his face. The injury required surgery, and Shelley said after Friday's practice in Voorhees that he will be "ready to do what I have to do pretty soon."

He wore a new protective visor during Friday's practice and alternated with Rinaldo on the fourth line, which includes Blair Betts and Darroll Powe.

Shelley said the third and fourth lines have to contribute more than defense and energy, "but on the score sheet. We know that's vital," he said.

Betts said Shelley was "underrated as a player. He's great on the forecheck, he uses his body well and his size to protect the puck and create room for the rest of us."

If Shelley doesn't play, the Flyers figure to turn to Rinaldo, who had more suspensions this season (four) than goals (three) with the AHL's Phantoms.

Rinaldo played just 1 minute, 56 seconds (three shifts) in Game 5, his only playoff appearance.

"We fell behind early, and the game plan kind of went out the window," Laviolette said. "We had to get our guys that score goals out there as much as we could. I thought he had a couple of good shifts . . . and had three hard hits."

The Flyers and Bruins, two of the league's bigger teams, are almost identical in size. The Flyers, on the average, stand 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, compared to Boston's 6-0, 198.


Here are the probable lineups for Game 1:

Flyers - Lines: Ville Leino-Danny Briere-Scott Hartnell; James van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Nik Zherdev; Dan Carcillo-Mike Richards-Kris Versteeg; Powe-Betts-Shelley.

Defense: Pronger-Matt Carle; Kimmo Timonen-Braydon Coburn; Andrej Meszaros-Sean O'Donnell.

Goalie: Brian Boucher.

Bruins - Lines: Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton; Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi; Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley-Michael Ryder; Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton.

Defense: Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg; Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk; Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid.

Goalie: Tim Thomas.


Carter (knee) did not skate and is doubtful for the first two games. . . . Nodl (eye) skated before practice but did not take part in practice. He will not play in Game 1. . . . Defenseman Nick Boynton missed practice because of a personal matter. . . . Sergei Bobrovsky will be Boucher's backup; Michael Leighton apparently is nursing a back injury. . . . Boston has seven players who didn't dress for Game 7 in last year's conference semifinals; the Flyers have six. . . . The Flyers have won three of the five playoff series against the Bruins in franchise history.

Flyers Notes:


Laviolette prepares for a physical series. D4.

 Bruins goalie unaffected by last year's meltdown. D4.



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