Game 73, Preview And Game Thread: Minnesota Wild at Philadelphia Flyers

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#12 Minnesota Wild (35-32-6, 76 pts) at #7 Philadelphia Flyers (37-31-5, 79 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM ET - Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN Philly HD, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Wisconsin
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 207
This is the open game thread.
Get the Minnesota perspective at Hockey Wilderness

This has nothing to do with the Flyers and the Wild, but with the Philadelphia Union kicking off their inaugural season tonight in Seattle at 9:30 ET, I think this is relevant. It pissed me off, at least, so whatever.

From SBN's DC United blog, Black And Red United:

It should be no surprise that Union fans will be like a combination of Sounders fans and Flyers fans, with the worst qualities of each. At least the [Seattle Sounders Football Club] franchise did technically have a few decades of history when they joined MLS. PU [that means Philadelphia Union, how clever] has nothing. Hell, they haven't even played a game yet! But their fans will probably still be arrogant and think that they should run the place.

So feel free to stop by and say hello to Brothely Game [sic], or just ignore them, which is probably about what they deserve.

Can anybody say inferiority complex?

Anyway, on to the hockey... Peter Laviolette has jumbled up his lines again for tonight's game with the 1st-tee-bound Minnesota Wild. Danny Briere heads to center a line of Simon Gagne and Ville Leino. Scott Hartnell jumps up to the top line, essentially switching with Gagne.

Breaking just as I'm writing this, in fact, the Flyers announced that Matt Carle will miss the game with a 'deep bone bruise.' Lukas Krajicek, who has been scratched in each of the last two games, will replace him in the lineup. (Side note: the Flyers official Twitter feed announcing something and calling it an 'exclusive' is rather hilarious. It's your team, guys.) Chris Pronger will be paired with Braydon Coburn, Krajicek will return to usual partner Kimmo Timonen, and Oskars Bartulis will play with Ryan Parent.

Jeez, we can't catch a break, can we?

After the jump, full lineups, starting goalies, questions to answer and our in-game discussion.

Flyers Line Combinations

Hartnell – Richards – Carcillo
Gagne – Briere – Leino
van Riemsdyk – Giroux – Powe
Laperriere – Betts – Asham

Pronger - Coburn
Timonen - Krajicek
Parent - Bartulis

Minnesota Line Combinations

Brunette - Brodziak - Miettinen
Nolan - Sheppard - Clutterbuck
Latrendresse - Ebbett - Havlat
Boogaard - Wellman - Kobasew

Zanon -  Zidlicky
Burns - Barker
Scott - Schultz

Starting Goaltenders

2009 - Brian Boucher 24 1255 5 15 59 2.82 581 522 .898 0

2009 - Niklas Backstrom 51 3000 24 20 133 2.66 1369 1236 .903 2

Questions to Answer

  1. How much will the Matt Carle injury effect the overall play of the defense tonight?
  2. The Flyers always have trouble with the backup goaltenders, as they did with Anton Khudobin last time these teams played. Can they solve Niklas Backstrom, who is, you know, good?
  3. Same idea, do the Flyers clearly lack chemistry tonight thanks to all the line shuffling that's gone on?
  4. Danny Briere is back at center... how's that work out?

Tonight's game is on CSN at 7 PM. Hopefully it gets over in time for the 9:30 first kick of the Union, but hockey still holds priority this time of year. LET'S GO FLYERS!

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