Good morning to you all for the second time this weekend! Do we want to talk about what happened yesterday? It was pretty disappointing, results-wise, so I would understand if we’re not ready just yet. But, hey, the Flyers are still second in the Metro, so it could be worse.
The Panthers have been much-improved of late, picking up steam in the Atlantic and threatening to steal away the final wildcard spot for the Eastern Conference. They’re sitting on a five game winning streak, and looking to make that six by blowing through the Flyers—and we’ll have to hope that this streak can be broken.
The last time the Flyers met the Panthers, the lost spectacularly and it was my birthday, so it was a rough time all around. It was one of those games where they just couldn’t seem to do much of anything, and today they’ll be looking to do, well, the opposite of that. We’ve got some things to talk about, some areas in need of focusing on—three in particular—so let’s get right into it.
1. Get out of the zone
One of the more frustrating parts of yesterday’s game was the fact that the Flyers would hit a period of time where they were doing some very nice offensive work, only to get turned around and hemmed into their own zone and left to defend against a slew of dangerous chances from the Lightning. And perhaps it’s easier said than done, but this is something that the Flyers will need to avoid today—beyond putting up a solid offensive effort, they’ll need to make sure that they’re not negating that effort as soon as it’s done. So, please, the Flyers, some consistency, if you will.
2. Better in net
Just yesterday, we talked about how Thursday’s game in Carolina was a rough showing for Mrazek, and how the meeting against the Lightning would be a chance to see his ability to respond. And, well, it was less than ideal. He allowed six goals on 31 shots in regulation, and showed some trouble locating the puck throughout. He had the chance to come up big for them, and he wasn’t able to. So you know what that (likely) means:
It’s Lyon time!
Given that today’s game is the back end of a back to back, it already stood to reason that we would see Lyon, if for no other reason than to give Mrazek a break, but given yesterday’s performance, it seems a chance is needed just to try to stabilize things. They won’t need him to be flashy, just solid enough to get the job done.
3. The second line
Far from the days when the Flyers looked like a one-line team, struggling to get any kind of consistent scoring from anyone other than the top line, they now have a top nine that’s looking consistently solid.
But really impressing, of late, has been the Patrick line, since the addition of Lindblom. The trio of these two and Voracek have looked dynamic of late, doing well to control entries into the zone and create high danger chances on opponents. We saw the fruits of this labor come yesterday with Voracek’s goal, and it seems like this line has no intention of slowing down. Next up (hopefully) on the docket? Lindblom’s first NHL goal. Let’s make this happen.
Puck drops at 3:00 today, and you can check out the Flyers’ projected lineup below.
Giroux - Couturier - Konecny
Lindblom - Patrick - Voracek
Leier - Laughton - Raffl
Lehtera - Filppula - Weal
Provorov - Gostisbehere
Hagg - MacDonald
Manning - Gudas