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Game 80, Preview and Game Thread: Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs

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#8 Philadelphia Flyers (39-34-6, 84 pts) at #15 Toronto Maple Leafs (29-36-14, 72 pts)
Air Canada Centre - 7:00 PM ET - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TV: The Comcast Network HD (seriously, Sixers?), Sportsnet Ontario HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 205
This is the open game thread.
Get the Toronto perspective at Pension Plan Puppets

The Flyers are closer to clinching than you think. In fact, if the cards fall right, they can clinch tomorrow. As in Wednesday. I was getting ready to do the heavy lifting on the numbers side of things, just to show how important tonight's game will be. But then, Frank Seravalli's blog came across the Twitters, with all of the pertinent facts already included.

Sounds good to me (it's a little warm in this room anyway).

-A Flyers win and Rangers loss tonight would push Philadelphia’s magic number down to two points with two games remaining. A Montreal loss would also move the Flyers up to sixth place.

-A Flyers loss and a Rangers win would keep the Flyers’ magic number at six points with just two games remaining, meaning the Flyers would need to sweep both games against New York this weekend – with at least one of the wins coming in regulation – to qualify for the postseason.

Good stuff, Frank. I'm sure it's not as hot in that Toronto hotel, either.

So, yeah: tonight's game is really, really important. We can't worry about what the Rangers or Canadiens are doing tonight, because ultimately, none of it matters if the Flyers don't win. Our team holds their destiny in their hands, so that's all we can worry about. But, either way, go Sabres and Islanders.

Toronto is a terrible team and I think that's something we can all agree on. But either way, they are an NHL team and they are playing with nothing to lose right now. The Flyers will need to play with the same urgency they displayed against Detroit on Sunday and, to an extent, against Montreal last Friday, if they want to win.

After all, this is playoff hockey right now. Kinda cute that Toronto gets to play in quasi-playoff hockey, too.

Colton Orr sucks. After the jump, questions with answers, lineups and our in-game discussion.

Flyers Line Combinations

van Riemsdyk – Richards – Giroux
Gagne – Briere – Leino
Hartnell – Powe – Asham
Carcillo – Laperriere – Betts

Pronger - Carle
Timonen - Krajicek
Parent - Coburn

Toronto Line Combinations

Kulemin - Grabovski - Kessel
Stalberg - Bozak - Hanson
Mitchell - Irwin - Caputi
Sjostrom - Wallin - Orr

Beauchemin - Phaneuf
Kaberle - Schenn
Gunnarsson - Exelby

Starting Goaltenders

2009 - Brian Boucher 30 1559 7 17 75 2.89 723 648 .896 0

2009 - Jean-Sebastien Giguere 33 1903 9 14 92 2.90 972 880 .905 3

Questions to Answer

  1. Intensity. Is it there?
  2. The Flyers played a very sound defensive game on Sunday against Detroit. Can they repeat the feat?
  3. The Leafs have been playing solid hockey of late. The Flyers don't let them outwork them, right?
  4. Does Carcillo display restraint with Leafs' resident goon Colton Orr?
  5. Are the Flyers still in playoff position by the end of the night? Better: are the Flyers in sixth by the end of the night?

Tonight's game is on The Comcast Network. If you have Verizon or satellite, you can blame that joke of a basketball team that shares our home with us. Ridiculous, right? It's a playoff race, for eff's sake. Whatever. Join Bundy and Tim on WIP, if you have to, or follow along with us here as we discuss tonight's game. LET'S GO FLYERS!