Flyers vs. Canucks preview: Stay out of the damned penalty box

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

Special teams and discipline are big focuses for the Flyers as they host Vancouver on Tuesday night.

The last time the Flyers hosted the Vancouver Canucksthey played like crap and fired John Stevens less than 24 hours later. Chances Craig Berube gets fired tonight, just three games into his tenure, are pretty slim, but there's that similar feeling of desperation for a win as the team sits at 1-5-0 through six games.

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Vancouver Canucks (3-3-0, 6 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (1-5-0, 2 pts)
7 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | South Philadelphia
TV: CSN Philly, Sportsnet Pacific | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the Vancouver perspective at Nucks Misconduct

Craig Berube is expected to keep the same lineup this evening, and he certainly liked what he saw at even strength with this group against the Red Wings on Saturday. But we didn't see a win in Detroit because of one very clear issue: The Flyers took a whole lot of damn penalties.

It's not an issue that'll be corrected over night, but Berube is on record saying it needs to change, and hopefully his words turn into action -- unlike similar words from his predecessors -- beginning tonight.

Vancouver might have an awful power play at the moment -- stumbling along at 10.5 percent, good for 25th in the league -- but the Red Wings were 0-for-10 on the power play entering Saturday's contest, and the consistent orange and black parade to the penalty box was just what they needed to snap out of their PP woes. Penalties are a key area of focus tonight.

On the flip side, the Flyers need to start capitalizing on their own PP chances. Vancouver is a tough draw here as they've killed 90.5 percent of their penalties this season, but the opponent doesn't matter: power play success is another key area of focus for the Flyers tonight and going forward. It needs to come sooner than later or the standings aren't going to look pretty.

The Canucks have had their own share of early season struggles. They've given up 3.33 goals per game so far on the young season, 25th in the NHL, and adapting to the system of new head coach John Tortorella has been cited as the major issue thus far. They've also had trouble scoring -- maybe not as much as the Flyers, but Vancouver's typically high-powered offense has only scored two goals in their last two games, both 4-1 losses.

Here's to hoping Vancouver's woes help the Flyers out in a big way tonight, and not the other way around. It'll be Roberto Luongo vs. Steve Mason in goal. Our game thread will be up at 6 p.m. ET.

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