Flyers 1st line secretly among NHL's elite
Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't the only team being carried by their top line to begin this season.

Sure the trio of Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Vladislav Namestnikov have been other-worldly, but in Philadelphia, their top line of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Sean Couturier have been doing some damage of their own.

The Flyers are off to a cavalier start with a 6-5-1 record, but things could be going much worse if not for the contributions of their big three, who through 12 games have combined for 15 goals and 45 points.

Player Goals Points Power-Play Points Shots
Voracek 2 16 5 43
Couturier 9 15 1 36
Giroux 6 14 4 24

The hot start by the three should be largely contributed to head coach Dave Hakstol. The biggest glaring change - which is paying dividends - is that Giroux has been moved from his native at center to the left wing. Couturier has manned the center ice position and Voracek has been slotted at his usual spot on the right side.

While the change might be a surprise, Giroux said he spent the majority of his life playing on the wing before he became a professional, according to John Boruk of NBC Sports Philadelphia. He could be more comfortable with his new assignment than one might expect.

The move appears to be working in spades and both Giroux and Couturier look like they should easily surpass their offensive totals from a season ago.

Last year, Giroux endured his lowest goal total of his career over a full 82-game season, bagging just 14 goals while playing in every game. With six already on the board through the first month of the season, topping that mark should be no problem.

(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

As for Couturier, he looks to be in the midst of a career year. Last season he - like Giroux - scored 14 goals in 66 games, just one short of his career-high of 15, which came during the 2014-15 season. With nine already in the bank, Couturier would have to go on a streak of epic proportions to not match his previous best.

Now, Voracek's two goals don't scream record-breaking, but with 16 points in 12 games, he ranks third in league scoring and - at least for the time being - is on pace to smash last year's total of 61 points and potentially his career mark of 81.

The Flyers are clinging to a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference as they look to reach the playoffs after missing out last season. If they are to return to exercise the demons of last year, there's no question their elite trio will have to continue to flex their muscles as they have this October.

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Flyers 1st line secretly among NHL's elite
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