Good riddance, 2013 hockey season. You die tonight.
Ottawa Senators (24-16-6, 54 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (22-22-3, 47)
7 p.m. | Scotiabank Place | Kanata, Ontario, Canada
TV: CSN Philly, CBC | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the Ottawa perspective at Silver Seven
The Flyers are in Ottawa to take on the Senators in the season finale tonight, and finally they will close the door on this awful, awful 48-game NHL season. It's the last game of the year, and once the final horn sounds at the end of the night, a long offseason full of question marks will begin. We don't know the answers to a lot of those questions, but ...
* ... this could be Danny Briere's last game as a Flyer. In fact, at this point, it seems likely that this is Danny Briere's last game in orange and black.
* ... this could be Peter Laviolette's last game as head coach. That doesn't seem nearly as likely, but it's certainly within the realm of possiblilty.
* ... this could be the final game ever for 40-year-old Mike Knuble, who struggled to find his way into an NHL job this season and only joined the Flyers when injuries to other players opened up a spot. He's been a healthy scratch often since joining the team and the chances he comes back for another full season -- with Philadelphia or otherwise -- seems pretty doubtful.
* ... this could be Ilya Bryzgalov's last game in a Philly uniform. Again, much like Laviolette, that doesn't seem likely but it's certainly possible. He won't play, though. Steve Mason gets the start tonight, so if it is Bryz's last game before facing an amnesty buyout this summer, he'll spend it watching from the bench.
We know it'll be a first for at least one player, though. Jason Akeson will make his Flyers debut this evening just 38 kilometers south of his hometown in the suburbs of Ottawa. Akeson was a top scorer on the Phantoms last season and continued that in 62 games this year, scoring 20 goals and 33 assists to lead the team. It'll be nice to see him get this NHL look, even if it's just one game.
One last game tonight. It'll be a relief when it's over, but we also won't have Flyers hockey to watch for another few months, so let's enjoy it. Go Flyers.