Nobody expected Ken Hitchcock to be in Philadelphia tonight.
The Jackets haven't looked good all season, really, but a small spell of hopeful hockey has the rumors that Hitch will be fired quelled a little bit. The flames are far from out, though, as Columbus sits in 14th place in the West. Tonight, it'll be an anti-climatic contest between the lowly Jackets and the home town Flyers, who look to start off a six game home stand on the right foot.
Ray Emery will be in net for the Flyers after a decent, yet less-than-good return against the Capitals. Most people looked at tonight's game as the better matchup for Emery to return in, as the Jackets 19th in the league in goals per game compared to top-ranked Washington.
Hopefully, Emery can keep the rebounds under control a little bit better tonight and the defense can limit the number of odd-man rushes to somewhere under 100, unlike Sunday where the poor guy was hung out to dry several times.
It's R.J. Umberger's first game back in Philadelphia since being traded in June of 2008.
We're going to do something a lot different in the open thread tonight. If you were around during the playoffs last year, you'll remember how we did a few 'road trips' with the folks at Pensburgh. We split the thread at both sites and fans of both teams gathered to talk about the game.
Tonight we're doing something similar, except it's for an excellent cause. Over at The Cannon, SBN's Blue Jackets site, they're following the lead of Silver Seven and Pension Plan Puppets in donating $0.05 cents to various charities benefiting victims of the earthquake in Haiti for every comment in the game thread. Silver Seven raised $159.99 and PPP raised a ridiculous $2,001. We may not beat that number tonight, but any penny we can raise will be well worth it.
We're going to pack our bags and bring our thread over to the The Cannon for our discussion. Keep it civil, follow their rules, and remember that we're the company. There should be a lot of people over there from around the league too, so let's represent the Flyers and Philadelphia well, huh?
If you'd like to contribute any money to the cause, there will certainly be more on that over at The Cannon.
After the jump, we'll still address our questions to answer, take a peek at the lineups and the starting goaltenders.
Flyers Line Combinations - editedat 7:03!
Hartnell - Carter - Briere
Gagne - Richards - Giroux
JVR - Powe - Asham
Carcillo - Betts - Laperriere
Carle - Pronger
Coburn - Timonen
Tollefsen - Bartulis
Jackets Line Combinations
Questions To Answer
- How does Emery respond to a less-than-stellar second debut?
- The power play took a step backwards on Sunday. Do they improve?
- What kind of reception does R.J. Umberger receive from the Philly crowd?
Can Bartulis and Tollefsen not play like crap today?
Tonight's game will be broadcast locally on CSN Philly, on the radio on 610 WIP, and if you're in Ohio, on FSN Ohio. Join us over at The Cannon for our in-game discussion, where we'll be talking hockey for charity. Doesn't get any better than that, does it? As always, LET'S GO FLYERS!