CHICAGO - Flyers coach Peter Laviolette had two things he needed to do with his lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs: Get Dan Carcillo in and get Ryan Parent out.
Carcillo's energy was needed, and Parent's ineptitude had gotten out of control.
While there were rumors Sunday night that Laviolette might make the straight-up switch, that wasn't a realistic possibility. Carcillo is a forward and Parent a defenseman, and while the Flyers rely heavily on their top four defensemen, they needed to have six dressed in case of an injury.
So Parent came out for Oskars Bartulis. The tough part was still finding a spot for Carcillo.
The other rumor was that he would replace Darroll Powe, who is probably the least-skilled forward in the lineup.
The problem with that, though, is that Powe is strong defensively - not to mention on the penalty kill, though Ian Laperriere's recent return alleviates that need. But short of putting a star such as Mike Richards, Jeff Carter or Simon Gagne on the checking line, no one else was going to be able to match what Powe can do defensively.
So defensemen and checking-line forwards were not possibilities to sit instead of Carcillo. That left Laviolette to choose the most expendable forward from the top three lines, and that was James van Riemsdyk.
Despite JVR's skill and potential, the 21-year-old was the most logical choice simply because he has been the least productive forward on the top three lines in the playoffs. He has not played necessarily poorly, by JVR's four playoff points are two fewer than Carcillo has despite Carcillo sitting three games.
Carcillo's presence was felt immediately as he was attempting hits all over the ice and constantly jawing with the Blackhawks.
"He's a guy that brings energy, momentum," Richards said after the game. "He hits everything that moves. He played well tonight. He stepped into a tough situation. He hasn't played in a couple of games. Eventually he carried us through the first little bit and gave us some energy in the second half."
Forward Danny Briere added, "He was fired up. He was certainly ready to play. He had a lot of big hits, especially in the first period. You could tell he was getting on their nerves."
As for Bartulis, Laviolette said he played well and that the Blackhawks' first goal was not a result of Bartulis and Lukas Krajicek being on the ice.
"We had an opportunity to get it out, it seemed," Laviolette said. "We mishandled the breakout pass at one side, and it ended up staying in. They made a play to the high slot. They got it at the net. It looked to me we tried to clear that rebound, and I don't know if it bounced over our stick. It seemed like we had coverage and positioning. We just didn't tie it. We didn't get that puck up there, out of there, and we didn't tie it up."
In any case, Bartulis was better than Parent had been. After struggling for most of the playoffs, Parent was responsible for a goal in Game 1, and in practice Sunday he was goofing around. He missed a pass, then accidentally kicked a glove that had been set up like a cone, and he laughed afterward.