Please welcome Albert Kleine, another new writer here at BSH.
Tonight the Flyers welcome home a familiar friend as they try to pick up some points after a largely disappointing road trip.
Danny Briere makes his first return to Philadelphia after being bought out by the team this past summer, and that fact will likely dominate the narrative of tonight’s game. Briere has been doing so-so since joining the Habs, notching 10 points in an (of course) injury-limited 22 games. Chances are we won’t see much of him on the ice, though -- he’s averaged just over 10 minutes of ice time in his past five games and has been largely relegated to Montreal’s third line.
Given the nature of Briere’s departure and his past contributions to the Flyers (2010 playoffs anyone?), chances are he’ll be given a warm reception at the Wells Fargo Center. Hopefully not too warm, though. Maybe just don’t let him set up camp in front of the net?
Philadelphia Flyers (13-15-3, 29 pts) at Montreal Canadiens (19-10-3, 41 pts)
7 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA, USA
TV: CSN Philly, RDS, TSN Habs | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the Montreal perspective at Eyes On The Prize
A few things to note about tonight’s game:
The Flyers, like, really need to win after that road trip, grabbing only five of 12 possible points. Yes, any points are appreciated, but the only two wins were not completely solid -- Mason completely stole the game in Nashville, and while the Flyers handily beat Detroit, the Wings were without their two star forwards in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Put that together with yesterday's "penalty-filled poo fest," and I hardly think you could say they've been playing at the top of their game.
If the Flyers ever want to be more than a .500 team, the wins need to start happening on a consistent basis and soon. Returning home for the first time since Thanksgiving with Danny Briere in the house seems like as good a time as any to start.
That being said, Montreal is a good team. A very good team. Even though they're coming off a completely debilitating 6-0 loss to the Kings on Tuesday night, that shouldn't lull the Flyers into a false sense of security. They currently sit in second place in the much more competitive fake-Atlantic division, and are the hottest team in the
Shutting down Montreal might prove to be tough for the Flyers. They've been getting offensive contributions from almost all their players, with 12 currently on the board with 10 points or more. Their leading scorer is P.K. Subban with 24 points, so maybe putting some extra attention on him would be a good idea. Also, he has a history with the Flyers, so keeping him limited would just be ever so nice.
Steve Mason gets the nod in net for the Flyers tonight, hopefully bouncing back after allowing 4 goals in consecutive games. The not-so-hot stats are certainly not entirely his fault, as lapses in defensive coverage have played a role. Still, we've seen a bit of a departure from his unexpectedly stellar play lately.
Carey Price will start for the Habs, and holy hell has he been good lately. Sure, he let in 4 goals on only 16 shots on Tuesday and got pulled in favor of veteran Peter Budaj, but don’t let your short-term memory cause you to write him off. Price has solidified himself among the NHL’s elite goaltenders, with talk of him being the starter for the Canadian Olympic team heating up. The Flyers aren’t going to get anything past him without developing quality chances and getting as many pucks as possible on net.
Game starts at 7:00 p.m. Montreal sucks. Go Flyers.