Flyers vs. Oilers preview: Very stoppable forces and highly movable objects

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The league's worst offense faces off with the league's worst defense. Maybe something will give? Maybe?

Following another pathetic loss at home on Thursday night that led to all sorts of fun things such as a players-only meeting, the captain blowing off the media (and at least parts of the media responding angrily in kind), and an angry media appearance by the Flyers' ever-so-patient owner, this was the reported scene at Flyers' practice on Friday afternoon via the Delaware County Daily Times' Rob Parent:

And it sounds like there were, in fact, some trade talks happening. Fortunately, the Flyers managed to throw that feeling over to the visitors' locker room, and today they'll be facing an Edmonton Oilers team that looks just a little bit different than it did at this time yesterday.

Oilers_mediumFlyers_orange_medium
Edmonton Oilers (4-11-2, 10 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (4-10-1, 9 pts)
1 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | South Philadelphia
Local TV: CSN Philly, NHL Network | Radio: 97.5 FM
Get the Edmonton perspective at The Copper & Blue

Yes, the Edmonton Oilers made not one, but two moves that caught everyone's attention last night. You probably already know about the first, with the signing of old friend Ilya Bryzgalov on a one-year deal. Sadly (or fortunately, depending on your current mental stability), we'll miss out on the potential hilarity of Bryz making his season debut today against the Flyers, as he's probably headed to the AHL for a conditioning stint first.

The other was a bit more out there, as the team sent defenseman Ladislav Smid to the Flames for two prospects. This is a bit of an odd move, given that Edmonton's defense is, well ... not good ... and sending out one of the somewhat capable blueliners of that group seems like a bad idea. Our friends at the Copper & Blue are equally confused by it.

So! With all of that done, and with the Flyers' current roster looking like it's going to live at least another day, we turn our attention back to the ice, where we've got a showdown of tremendous(ly bad) proportions going. The Oilers and Flyers currently rank 28th and 29th in the league in standings points, with just the Sabres standing between them and the true bottom of the barrel.

And today we'll see the current worst offense in the NHL in the Flyers (rocking a cool 1.47 goals per game) square off with the current worst defense in the NHL in the Oilers (sporting a gentleman's 3.82 goals against per game).

Know that whole spiel about unstoppable forces and immovable objects? This is more like watching a feather fall on a piece of tissue paper and seeing if the tissue paper crinkles a teensy tiny bit. We're in for a treat today, folks.

As Travis presciently said before Thursday's loss, expectations are really about as low right now as they've been in a while. Especially at home, where the Flyers have allowed 13 straight goals by their opponents. You'd hope that we at least get a goal or two today -- against, once again, the worst defensive team in the NHL right now -- but I don't want to get my hopes up too much here.

Craig Berube shuffled the lines up again on Friday, because the Flyers lost on Thursday and that tends to happen whenever the Flyers lose.

Some interesting combinations in there. Who knows. But let's just say we're not holding our breath waiting for another set of line changes to be the key to success here.

On defense, Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson skated together again in practice, as did Andrej Meszaros and Hal Gill, but speculation was that the former two would replace the latter two in the lineup following Mez's dreadful game on Thursday. We shall see.

In goal, we'll probably see Steve Mason and Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk's a respectable goalie but he's struggled a lot so far this year, so who knows what we'll see from him today.

Gamethread with lineups and questions up around 12. Go Flyers. Also Travis answered some questions about the Flyers over at Copper & Blue so feel free to read those.

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