The Flyers are in a bit of a funk, having won just two of their last 11 games, and right before they hit their five-day bye week next week they’ve got a back-to-back against two very tough division rivals in Boston and Washington on Saturday and Sunday of this weekend. As such, winning the game they’ll play before they hit that tough duo of contests is something that is certainly in their best interests.
Fortunately, they may have a decent chance to get that win tonight as they face off with the Vancouver Canucks for the first time this season.
Or they may not. While the Flyers are floundering, Vancouver’s overtime loss in Nashville on Tuesday was their first in seven games, and they’ve managed to claw their way from the pit of the Western Conference to the border of the playoff picture over the past couple of weeks.
But, like ... the Flyers should win this game, right? That six-game winning streak that just ended merely pulled the Canucks back up above the .500 mark. Their goal differential is a cool minus-17, they’re 25th in the NHL in goals per game, and their possession numbers are in the bottom quarter of the NHL. The strong play of Noted Friend Of The Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Miller has been their biggest asset of late, and other than the Sedins, Loui Eriksson, and talented young center Bo Horvat, it just seems like there’s not a ton that threatens you, right?
Of course, now that I’ve said all of this, the Flyers will probably lose tonight and sweep their back-to-back this weekend. Hockey is stupid anyways.
Lineup-wise, the big change we know of is the absence of Radko Gudas, who is “reportedly” a healthy scratch. Scare quotes around the word reportedly because all of the beats seem to think he might actually be injured, as Charlie noted earlier today. Let’s hope that’s the case, because Gudas sitting for Nick Schultz is probably not the cure for what has ailed the Flyers lately.
While Schultz being in for Gudas is the only personnel change, it does sound like the Flyers are shifting pieces around in their top-6 right now, as Travis Konecny and Matt Read have swapped places in the lineup. We’ll see if it works, but Konecny playing alongside Claude Giroux should be fun to watch, in any case.
Game’s on CSN Philly, 97.5 The Fanatic, and CSNPhilly.com locally, SN Pacific in Canada, and Center Ice or NHLTV elsewhere. Go Flyers.
Flyers lineup (via)
- Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Travis Konecny
- Meat Read - Sean Couturier - Jake Voracek
- Dale Weise - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds
- Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Roman Lyubimov
- Ivan Provorov - Andrew MacDonald
- Michael Del Zotto - Brandon Manning
- Nick Schultz - Shayne Gostisbehere
- Steve Mason
- Michal Neuvirth
Vancouver lineup (via)
- Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Loui Eriksson
- Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Alex Burrows
- Markus Granlund - Brandon Sutter - Jayson Megna
- Brendan Gaunce - Michael Chaput - Jack Skille
- Alex Edler - Troy Stecher
- Luca “Lucas Pizza” Sbisa - Chris Tanev
- Nikita Tryamkin - Alex “Lou” Biega
- Ryan “I will not commit mass murder tonight” Miller
- Jakob Markstrom