On a day where almost everyone in the city of Philadelphia is going to be thinking birds (it still hasn’t sunk in yet, has it?), the Flyers also play a game tonight! They face-off against the Montreal Canadiens — for the first time this year — after pulling off a last second OT miracle vs. the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. After losing four straight prior to Tuesday, the Flyers look to keep the good times rolling in Philly.
The Canadiens have been a mess of a team essentially since day one. Currently they sit fifth in the Atlantic Division at 50 points tied with the Detroit Red Wings. Carey Price has struggled, and the rest of the team hasn’t done a whole lot to help him out. We thought as a fanbase that we were screwed with the moves of Paul Holmgren as GM, but Marc Bergevin has buried the Canadiens for years to come.
Last season, the Flyers lost two out of three games with the Habs. So let’s hope for a better outcome of this season’s series.
Players to Watch:
MTL Player to Watch - G Carey Price: I mean come on it’s not like I have a lot to choose from with the Habs. When Price is on, he’s the best goalie in the world and it’s not even close. Honestly even for him it’s surprising he has a .907 save percentage with this defense in front of him. If the game stealing, best goalie in the world version of Price shows up tonight, it could be a long night for the Flyers.
PHI Player to Watch - D Ivan Provorov: While the Habs don’t exactly have a lot of fire-power in the forward core, they still have Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Drouin, and Alex Galchenyuk, all of whom can take over games at times. Shutting down the few stars on Montreal will be huge for the Flyers and Provorov, so if he can eliminate the few offensive threats, it should be an easy night for Philly on defense.
PHI CF%: 49.85
MTL CF%: 50.84
PHI xGF%: 50.64
MTL xGF%: 52.45
It’s honestly surprising how good the Habs are from a metrics standpoint, they drive play pretty well and to be fair, are probably a bit snakebitten. They have the league’s sixth lowest PDO and fourth lowest shooting percentage. While I do think there’s a good bit of simply bad luck, I think it’s fair to say they just don’t have the finishing talent in the bottom six. This compounds when the likes of Pacioretty, Drouin, Galchenyuk, and more are all shooting below their career averages.
And the predictions say...
Hmmmm...this definitely means we’re losing.
Corsica.hockey’s predictions so far have the Flyers as the heavy favorites tonight with the average being 57% in favor of the orange in black. The highest mark at 59% twice and the lowest and only other prediction so far, at 53.1%.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Giroux — Couturier — Konecny
Voracek— Patrick — Simmonds
Leier — Filppula — Lehtera
Raffl — Laughton — Weal
Provorov — Gostisbehere
Hagg — MacDonald
Manning — Gudas
All stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, hockey-reference, and Corisca.hockey