It was a different world last time the Flyers were in North Carolina. Peter Laviolette was behind the bench, Luke Schenn was scoring goals. Now, Lavi is gone, Schenn's in the press box as a healthy scratch and ... well, okay, the Flyers are still not a good team. That's the one thing that's sadly stayed constant all season.
They'll be back in Raleigh tonight to take on the Hurricanes at PNC Arena, and hopefully Paul Holmgren won't repeat the feat of firing the head coach on the return trip to PHL tonight.
Philadelphia Flyers (4-9-0, 8 pts) at Carolina Hurricanes (4-7-3, 11 pts)
7:30 p.m. | PNC Arena | Raleigh, North Carolina
Local TV: CSN Philly | National TV: NBCSN | Radio: 97.5 FM
Get the Carolina perspective at Canes Country
The Hurricanes are awful, so that's good. In fact, that win over the Flyers back in October was their only win on home ice all season, and they've since lost goalie Cam Ward to injury. The list of injuries doesn't stop there: Joni Pitkanen, Jeff Skinner, backup goalie Anton Khudobin, Tim Gleason, and Kevin Westgarth are all hurt Only Gleason and Westgarth have a chance to playing tonight.
Carolina's lost five games in a row but are miraculously just three points behind Washington for the Metropolitan Division's final playoff spot. That tells us a few things: 1) good God, this division sucks, 2) it's still early in the season and 3) the Flyers are absolutely within striking distance of the pack despite their own awful start.
As we noted, Schenn will be a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. Erik Gustafsson will join him, as will Jay Rosehill, meaning Tye McGinn will be in the lineup at forward and both Andrej Meszaros and Hal Gill will be in on defense. Vincent Lecavalier will play with a giant bubble on his face, and Steve Downie remains out with a concussion after getting punched in the face on Friday.
Steve Mason gets the start despite Ray Emery's shutout vs. New Jersey. Justin Peters will be in goal for Carolina.
Just like the game vs. the Devils, this is going to be a meeting of two bad teams, and the results could be ugly. So tune in! It's on national television in the United States! Bet those ratings will be off the charts!
Our game thread will be up at 5 p.m. Go Flyers.