The Flyers come into tonight’s game vs. the Vancouver Canucks looking for their first win since November 9th...and as I was typing that I had to do a double take because holy crap it’s been awhile since this team won a hockey game.
After beating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on home ice two weeks ago, the Flyers have lost four consecutive games at the hands of the Minnesota Wild (twice!!), the Winnipeg Jets, and most recently the Calgary Flames. Luckily, in Flyers fashion, they picked up a point in the last two by going to overtime. Meanwhile, the team opposing them tonight has lost two in a row. Needless to say I think both of these teams are looking to get back on track.
Welcome back Mark Alt!
With Radko Gudas serving his ten game suspension, and Andrew MacDonald not yet set to return from injury, defenseman Mark Alt is back in the NHL. Alt played in five games for the Flyers in his first stint and failed to register his first NHL point. Assuming MacDonald is unable to go for the remainder of Gudas’ suspension, Alt should see nine more games added to his belt.
Record in last 10 games
PHI Point Leaders
- Jakub Voracek - 25 points (5G, 20A)
- Sean Couturier - 22 points (12G, 10A)
- Claude Giroux - 21 points (9G, 11A)
VAN Point Leaders
- Brock Boeser - 17 points (7G, 10A)
- Bo Horvat - 16 points (8G, 8A)
- Sven Baertschi - 15 points (7G, 8A)
As you can tell, this isn’t the same old Canucks team. Vancouver still has a lot of issues with their hockey club, but the hot start for 2015 1st round pick Brock Boeser hasn’t been one of them. The talent of young players like Boeser and fourth year center Bo Horvat, have helped the Canucks fans have some faith in their hockey team. If the Flyers want to win tonight, shutting down those two would be a good start.
Speaking of the Flyers possibly winning tonight, it would be very much so ideal if they could because the rest of their division can only be average for so long. Currently, Philadelphia sits seven points behind the Metro leading Devils, and three points behind the 2nd wild card team, the Washington Capitals. By no means is this a “must-win game”, but if the Flyers wanted to go on a hot streak now would definitely be the time. Is it too early to be standings watching? Maybe, but let me be.
(Projected) Lineup changes
With Nolan Patrick returning from injury we had to see this coming just a little bit. Yesterday at Flyers practice these lines were tweeted out by multiple sources.
#Flyers lines in practice— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) November 20, 2017
Defense pairs are the same as Saturday. Looks like Mac Isn’t quite ready to return yet.
Weal with Patrick and Simmonds? SIGN ME UP. The only downside to these lines that I can see is the Honey Bees being broken up and Jori Lehtera taking Michael Raffl’s spot. Hopefully, that loss of talent on the fourth line will be made up for with Raffl being paired with Valtteri Filppula and Travis Konecny. This line could end up being a sneaky really good third line.
Are the scoring woes finally over?
Despite losing to the Flames on Saturday, the Flyers were able to put four goals on the board for the first time since facing Colorado on the 4th. The goaltending in the month of November has been the least of their worries, yet they’ve squandered so many great games from Brian Elliott who has started all but two of their games this month. Is what we saw vs Calgary a sign of the offense picking up steam? Or will they revert back to the back to back shutouts vs the Wild.
Flyers CF%: 50.54
Canucks CF%: 49.4
Flyers xGF%: 51.87
Canucks xGF%: 48.91
(just a side note as I was going through the metrics, the Flyers have the best 5v5 save percentage in the entire NHL, what even is life when you think about it?)
Get ya predictions here! (not actually here it’s on Corsica but you know what I mean)
According to Corsica’s four prediction models up at the moment, the Flyers are favored to win this one by an average of 58.9 to 41.1. Please let the fancy stat gods be right tonight.