7 p.m. tonight
Wells Fargo Center
TV: CSN Philly, TSN Jets
RADIO: 94 WIP
TICKETS: Starting at $26
The Winnipeg Jets have scored 15 goals in two games against the Philadelphia Flyers this season. Ilya Bryzgalov got lost in the woods after the first game, a 9-8 loss to the Jets at the WFC in October, and Sergei Bobrovsky looked a whole lot less than good in a 6-4 decision at MTS Centre in mid-November.
Antero Niittymaki and his undefeated career record against the Atlantapeg ThrashJets was on waivers last week. What the hell, Homer?
No, in all seriousness, the Jets aren't a good hockey team. They've been hanging around the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but that's just because the East is so bad. They're five points out of the playoffs entering tonight's game, and they're also five points out of the top spot in the Southeast Division. So, you know.
It's hard, then, to ascribe much logic to a game against the Jets. Like the Thrashers before them, they just seem to have the Flyers number of late, and that's a weird thing to combat. These two games against Winnipeg so far this season have featured virtually no defense, and you'll have to imagine the Flyers will try like hell to clamp down in their own end tonight. When teams have combined for 27 goals in two meetings, it's easy for head games to creep their way in, and the Flyers defensemen -- and Bryzgalov, who's starting -- will have to avoid falling into them.
Good news: Jaromir Jagr will play tonight. Danny Briere, James van Riemsdyk and Zac Rinaldo are still out, and Harry Zolnierczyk will be a healthy scratch, according to the beat writers at the morning skate today. That means both Tom Sestito and Jody Shelley will be in the lineup, and it's possible they could find themselves on the same fourth line, centered by Ben Holmstrom.
The lines are sort of up in the air. We'll assume that Jagr will be back on the top line with Orange Jesus and Scott Hartnell pushing Brayden Schenn back down somewhere. Where? Guessing here:
Hartnell - Orange Jesus - Jagr
Wayne Train - Juicy - Read
Schenn/Sestito - Talbot - Voracek
Shelley - Holmstrom/Schenn- Sestito/Holmstrom
Timonen - Coburn
Carle - Bourdon
Gustafsson - Meszaros
For the Jets? Honestly, I have no idea. Try Arctic Ice Hockey. Game thread at 5 p.m.