Almost a year ago, the Flyers and the Carolina Hurricanes played a hockey game that we politely referred to as "completely meaningless". It took place the day after the Flyers were mathematically eliminated from the postseason, the Hurricanes had already reached that point, and there was incredibly little to care about.
Today's game between the Flyers and Hurricanes is also more or less completely meaningless -- but in a much nicer sort of way, as the Flyers will begin playing in the playoffs four days from today and already know where they'll be doing so (New York City, of course).
So, what do we pay attention to today?
Carolina Hurricanes (35-35-11, 81 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (42-30-9, 93 pts)
3:00 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN-PH | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the Carolina perspective at Canes Country
Well, for one, yesterday the Flyers recalled Cal Heeter and Jason Akeson from Adirondack. With Steve Mason getting banged up and Ray Emery having to play in relief for him yesterday, there's a pretty good chance Heeter will end up playing in today's game. So that's something fun to look out for.
For Akeson, it's actually the second straight season in which he's been called up right before the Flyers' final game of the regular season. He scored a goal in his NHL debut last season in Ottawa, and chances are he'll play along side Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn. So that's cool.
Otherwise, there's not a whole lot that we're looking out for today. With the Flyers going through an injury scare on Saturday with Mason, you've got to imagine that the priority for today is not letting anyone get hurt. So while we haven't heard much on lineups at the time of this writing, don't be surprised if we end up seeing a few other regulars sitting out today. Kimmo Timonen and Nicklas Grossmann both missed yesterday's game, so they're both probably out as well. As for the forwards, we'll probably find out about any changes closer to game time.
The 'Canes have given the Flyers an annoyingly difficult time this year, with wins in all three of the team's head-to-head contests while territorially dominating all three of those games. The Flyers managed just a single point in an OT loss in one of those games, and if Carolina finds a way to win this one, they'll end up being the fourth team (Anaheim, Boston and Tampa being the others) to sweep the Flyers head-to-head this year. So they've got that going for them, however much or little wins mean to them at this point in time.
But yeah. Hopefully by the time this one's over, all we have to talk about is the key to beating Henrik Lundqvist in the playoffs (mess with his hair, probably). Oh, and we'll also find out the award winners before the game begins. Feel free to read our thoughts on the Ashbee/best defenseman award and the Lindbergh/most improved award if you haven't already. We didn't end up profiling the Clarke Trophy candidates for Team MVP but I mean come on you know who it is. We'll see about these and the rest of the awards just before game time.
Puck drop at 3. Gamethread up around 2. We made it, guys. Go Flyers.