Flyers at Devils preview: By rule, the Flyers have to play in this game, right?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Following whatever the hell you'd like to call it that occurred last night at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers will head to the road on a quick turnaround today against a team that's given them fits lately.

So ... I mean ... well ... what do you even say at this point?

Flyers_orange_mediumDevils_red_medium
Philadelphia Flyers (3-9-0, 6) at New Jersey Devils (3-5-4, 10)
7 p.m. | Prudential Center | Newark, N.J.
TV: TCN | Radio: 93.3 WMMR
Get the New Jersey perspective at In Lou We Trust

Last night probably marked a low point in the career of just about everyone who was wearing a Flyers jersey for it. After what looked like a pretty good first period that they mostly controlled, the team completely packed it in after allowing a goal just before the end of the said period, then wilted in the second while allowing five (5) (FIVE, for god's sake) goals and putting together absolutely nothing in the way of offensive pressure.

They quit. Plain and simple. But then, just to try and show you that they HADN'T quit, things got messy just after the Capitals tacked on the extra point. You probably already know about that by now, so I'm mostly not going to re-hash it all here because it makes me sad.

But quite frankly, the whole final 45 minutes of that game were absolutely pathetic and unquestionably the low point in what's been an incredibly sad season so far, and maybe the low point of the last several seasons.

Yeah, sure -- they care. That's why they had a fight at the end of the game. To show us how much they care. But when the only time they look like they care is after they've clearly stopped caring ... well, really, who cares how much they care at that point? Y'know?

Anyways. It doesn't really look like things are on track to get a whole lot better tonight, heading on the road for a back-to-back and facing off against a rested Devils team that has won in eight of its last nine contests against the Flyers (playoffs included) and looks like it's finally starting to get things going after a similarly poor start to its season.

At the same time, though ... if you're going to go out there and humiliate yourself in basically every way imaginable, maybe it's best to not have a ton of time to think about it. There's no real chance to let it stew in their minds, and they've just got to get out there tonight and put it all behind them. That's never really easy, but it's their jobs, and I think it's easier when they have less time to wonder about it.

And there's a chance for a win tonight, even given the Flyers' recent struggles with Jersey. The Devils are looking better of late, but they still aren't really very good, they've got injury problems, and Martin Brodeur (tonight's starter) has been just plain bad for most of the season. He's certainly capable of making the Flyers look like crap offensively, because he's been known to do that on occasion through his career and even as recently as last year (twice), but the Flyers have a chance to pot a few against him.

(Of course, lately the Flyers haven't been very good, they'll have injury problems, and their goalie -- presumably Steve Mason -- will be playing on the second half of a back-to-back. And they haven't been potting goals against anybody. So hey, who are we to judge?)

So maybe there's a chance. But it won't be easy, especially given that last night's festivities cost the team two of its better offensive players -- Steve Downie was sent to the hospital with a concussion and Vincent Lecavalier will be out tonight with a facial injury, both suffered from fights.

We don't quite know what the lines will look like without those guys, though reports this morning have Tye McGinn getting called up. There's no morning skate today, so we'll mostly be in the dark until the game starts as far as specific line combinations. The ones to the right of this paragraph are a complete guess, though we can safely assume McGinn and Raffl will be moved back into the top-9 and Jay Rosehill will be active.

You'll notice a familiar face in the Devils' lines. Miss you, Jaromir.

I don't know what's going to happen tonight. I don't know the last time the Flyers were truly embarrassed in this kind of fashion, so I can't tell you how they may rebound tonight. But the optimist in me is saying that it's literally not possible for it to get any worse than it did last night. It's looking more and more like the Flyers just aren't a very good team, but they aren't this bad, and even if they can't keep it respectable on the scoreboard it'd be nice if they could keep it respectable otherwise.

Game thread and questions will be up at 5:30. Go Flyers.

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