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Game 27, Preview and Open Thread: Se remettre sur les rails, Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens

#12 Philadelphia Flyers (13-12-1, 27 pts) at #11 Montreal Canadiens (13-14-2, 28 pts)
Le Centre Bell - 7:30 PM ET - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
TV: The Comcast Network HD, RDS HD
Radio: 1210 AM WPHT, XM 206
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: Habs Eyes On The Prize

Broadcast Note: Take notice above. Thanks to the Allen Iverson show dominating Philadelphia sports media tonight, the Flyers have been relegated to secondary status on television, radio, and probably in the minds of most fans. On local TV, the game will be on The Comcast Network, while the radio broadcast can be found at 1210 AM WPHT.

The Flyers travel north of the border tonight to take on the Montreal Canadiens, another team that is struggling mightily as the season slowly shifts to "not so early anymore." They'll look to get their new coach his first Philadelphia win, but they'll of course be without Dan Carcillo as he serves game one of his four game suspension. Regardless of how you feel about the suspension, Carcillo has been one of the hardest working Flyers over this current stretch of pitiful hockey, and his absence in the lineup isn't good for the team.

Riley Cote will replace him. Enough said, I think.

Ray Emery's absence tonight, on the other hand, might be able to help the team. He's been playing pretty pitiful hockey himself, and after looking absolutely terrible against Washington on Saturday night, he'll give way to Brian Boucher tonight. I hate to say it, but are the words goalie controversy slowly creeping up? If the current trend continues, that could be the case.

Two players that will be in the lineup and should be able to help the Flyers tonight are Claude Giroux and Danny Briere. But since we're playing Montreal, they're looooove their French players and their ridiculous trade ideas for said French players to come "home."

Cue Habs Eyes on the Prize today, talking about better potential trading partners for Guillaume Latrendresse, who they recently shipped off to Minnesota. Now maybe I'm taking the out of context and maybe I'm making nothing about a simple passing idea from a Montreal hockey fan. But still, it seems worthy of a reference. After the jump, if you'd oblige.

How about the Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux, whose on a steady upward curve?

Latendresse would have fit in nicely with the Flyers, or would the John Leclair flashbacks have been too scary? Guillaume would have been their type of player, very much in the Tim Kerr mode.

The Flyers, who have been spinning their wheels of late, might have opted for such a shakeup rather than canning their coach.

Such a potential trade could have been sprinkled with a future consideration clause on both sides, based upon 2009 to 2011 production, with draft picks in the balance.

The Habs could also have gotten their mits on Daniel Briere as well, alleviating a million bucks a season over a five year term off the Flyers payroll in the process, by offering up Scott Gomez. I'm not a big Briere booster, but I see him as having more upside in a role with Montreal than Gomez at present.

I'll refrain comment and let you form an opinion on that one. Especially that first one. Latrendresse for Giroux. Yep.

Anyway, that's a tangent and there's a hockey game tonight. Montreal's a poor team, but the Flyers sit behind them in the standings. It's time for the orange and black to prove they aren't a poor team themselves, and that sentiment is going to grow if they can't turn this around as soon as possible.

Flyers Line Combinations - slight changes, Briere and Giroux swap spots; Cote in for Carcillo.

Hartnell – Richards – Giroux
JVR – Carter – Briere
Laperriere – Pyorala – Asham
Cote – Kalinski – Nodl

Questions To Answer

  1. Elements of the slump bust: power play. Can they turn it around?
  2. Element two: goaltending. How does Boucher perform?
  3. Element three: lifeless hockey. The Flyers have looked lazy for weeks. Does that stop?
  4. Element four: the system. Is it obvious that Laviolette has already put in some tweaks to the offense, and if said tweaks are obvious, do they seem to work?

Starting Goaltenders

PHI - Brian Boucher 7 357 2 4 15 2.52 170 155 .912 0

MTL - Carey Price 21 1234 8 10 57 2.77 653 596 .913 0

As mentioned above, the game tonight is on The Comcast Network (ch. 8 for most, ch. 201 in HD) and on the air at 1210 WPHT. Join us here for the discussion and LET'S GO FLYERS!