Four wins in a row isn't possible, right? That's what the Flyers will shoot for tonight when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Flyers need two points desperately tonight to stay in the playoff hunt, but they'll also need some help from friends.
Philadelphia Flyers (16-17-3, 35) at Toronto Maple Leafs (20-12-4, 44)
7 p.m. | Air Canada Centre | Toronto, Ont., Canada
TV: CSN Philly, Sportsnet Ontario | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the Toronto perspective at Pension Plan Puppets
Let's get that out of the way first. Who else are we cheering for during the evening's scoreboard watching? Jaromir Jagr and the Bruins host the New Jersey Devils tonight, and we'll be able to cheer for Jags in his new colors because we need Boston to top the Devils, who sit four points ahead of the Flyers and are currently the No. 8 seed in the East.
Elsewhere, the Islanders and Capitals are head to head, so we primarily just don't want a three point game there. An Islanders win coupled by a Flyers win would boost the Flyers up over the Caps in the standings. One less team to climb over would be a good thing, but a Washington win would pull the whole playoff mix closer together.
Montreal and Winnipeg are head-to-head, and Winnipeg could end up down on the playoff bubble should Washington pass them for the Southeast lead, so a Jets loss would be a good thing. Carolina are on the Flyers heels, back by one point, so we're rooting for Tampa Bay tonight against the Hurricanes.
Okay. With that out of the way, let's look to the game.
Adam Hall will be in the lineup for his Flyers debut and Zac Rinaldo got hurt last night, so the Flyers will also likely insert Jay Rosehill for his first game in orange and black. He's a former Leaf and him punching somebody in the face during his sub-five minutes of ice time tonight is as close to a certainty as you can get.
Ilya Bryzgalov will start for the Flyers because Peter Laviolette is a fan of running goalies into the ground and he's probably still afraid he'll lose his job if the team misses the playoffs or at least doesn't make a run at the final spot. Kurt told us earlier how this is dumb, but Peter Laviolette doesn't read broadstreethockey dot com.
The Leafs will add deadline acquisition Ryan O'Byrne to the blueline tonight. He's a defensive-minded guy and we probably won't notice him much, if at all. Toronto hasn't lost in regulation since March 14, a stretch of eight consecutive games with a point.
Questions to Answer
- How long does it take Jay Rosehill to fight this evening?
- Does Ilya Bryzgalov duck out of the way of any pucks?
- Now that Sean Couturier has ended his goal scoring drought, can he keep it up?
- Jake Scoracek?