The second half of the season kicks off tonight when the Flyers host the Montreal Canadiens, a team that's in absolutely dire straits right now. Just look at this from the game preview over at Habs Eyes On The Prize:
Back in action after a week's vacation, has Montreal's All Star break been a welcome reprieve, or just prolonged the suffering?
The Habs are bad. Since their 9-0-0 start to the regular season, a 10-2-0 month of October and an 8-2-3 month of November, the Habs have gone a dismal 6-18-1. Part of it trends with Carey Price going to down to injury, but are they that reliant on their goaltender -- even with how good he is?
The result has been a dramatic fall out of what seemed in the early season like a sure playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Montreal now sits at 52 points through 50 games, and the Flyers can pass them in the standings with a head-to-head regulation win this evening.
Canadiens at Flyers
- When: 7 p.m. ET
- Where: Wells Fargo Center | South Philadelphia
- In the Delaware Valley: CSN Philly, 97.5 The Fanatic, 97.3 FM South Jersey
- In Montreal: RDS, Sportsnet East
- Elsewhere: NHL Center Ice, NHL.tv
So, about those Flyers. They're coming off that really fun win in Washington just before the All-Star Break, and the lineup they're putting on the ice tonight might be the best-looking roster -- on paper at least -- that they've had all year.
R.J. Umberger, without a goal in 50 dang games, is finally a healthy scratch. Here's what we're looking at.
- Voracek - Giroux - Simmonds
- Gagner - Couturier - Schenn
- Raffl - Laughton - Read
- VandeVelde - Bellemare - White
- Del Zotto - Gostisbehere
- Schultz - Streit
- Gudas - Medvedev
Steve Mason will get the start this evening with Michal Neuvirth on the shelf for a week to 10 days with a lower body injury. Here's the Canadiens lineup. Expect Mike Condon in net for the Canadiens.
- Pacioretty - Desharnais - Weise
- Galchenyuk - Plekanec - Gallagher
- Fleischmann - Eller - Smith-Pelly
- Lessio - Mitchell - Flynn
- Markov - Subban
- Beaulieu - Petry
- Barberio - Gilbert