After a one day break, the Flyers hit the ice again this preseason against a familiar foe. For the fourth, and final, time in these preseason matchups, the Orange and Black take on the New York Islanders. The Flyers have faired well against their division rivals, going 2-1 in three games. The Islanders played last night vs. New Jersey and came away with a 2-0 win, and looking to split this oh so important preseason series.
I’m just real sick of talking about the New York Islanders, okay?
The fans making the trip to the home of the Phantoms should be in store for a fun game though, as many of the Flyers veterans and roster locks are on the roster for tonight. The likes of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, and the duo of Provorov and Gostisbehere should all play in this one. Without further adieu, let’s dive into some story lines for the Flyers fifth preseason game of the year.
1. Roster cuts shake up playing time
With the 11 players cut yesterday, the playing time should only increase for some of the younger Flyers looking to make the final roster. Philippe Myers will most likely play tonight, along with Mikhail Vorobyev and Nicolas Aube-Kubel, all of whom still have a shot of earning their way onto the team come October 4. Vorobyev has lead all Flyers forwards in ice time in each of the games he’s played, and that will most likely continue as he makes his final push to make the team. As for guys like Myers and NAK, while their chances are much slimmer than Vorobyev’s to crack the lineup, they should receive more playing time as the roster whittles down.
Myers and NAK have been very impressive this preseason, but they might run into the issue of simply not enough spots on the roster. Still, it’s nice to see them hanging around in camp this long, which hopefully implies the coaching staff and general manager Ron Hextall have been pleased by their play.
2. How will the vets look?
The Flyers are definitely going with more of a veteran/roster lock heavy lineup tonight, and although all eyes will be on the rookies and roster hopefuls, it will be just as important to analyze how the vets are looking. Giroux has looked every bit as dangerous as he did last season, and Provorov looked better than ever in his lone preseason game.
#Flyers will dress Jake Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, Travis Konecny, Nolan Patrick, Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere, Oskar Lindblom, Mikhail Vorobyev, Nic Aube-Kubel and Phil Myers on their roster tomorrow.— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) September 20, 2018
We very well might see close to what the opening night lineup could look like in tonight’s game, or at the very least as close as it’s going to get in these games. One of the more interesting aspects, is if we’ll finally get to see the debut of the JVR- Nolan Patrick- Voracek line. Last time there was a possibility of this, we saw Vorobyev take that spot in the lineup. Patrick hasn’t played all that much this preseason, but when he has, there is a clear difference in his play. The quickness seen in his second WHL season with the Brandon Wheat Kings, is back in abundance. This is the first offseason in three years he’s had where he didn’t have to rehab, and it’s very noticeable.
3. First three lines? BIg fan. Fourth line? Big yikes.
Once again, Dave Hakstol has deprived us of our first game play glimpse of the JVR-Patrick-Voracek line. We’ll see two thirds of it with the top line, but Travis Konecny takes the spot of Voracek. The second line should be a key point of interest, with Vorobyev centering Oskar Lindblom and Voracek. Vorobyev continues to see time at center with roster locks, a good sign he should be making this team. The third line is a good mix of speed and power, with two great forecheckers in Carsen Twarynski and Michael Raffl, and the speed and skill of Jordan Weal.
Weal has been very strong this preseason, and has shown he can handle the center position at least for now. Twarynski and Raffl seem to be perfect players to lineup alongside him, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this line be one of the Flyers best in tonight’s game.
As for the fourth line...can we not? Can we just not, Dave?
Taylor Leier is essentially the lone bright spot in this line, as Jori Lehtera will center Leier and Dale Weise. Although Weise has shown some signs of productive play, a line featuring himself and Lehtera doesn’t bode all that well for performance.
Full lineup/final notes
- Provorov and Gostisbehere will be paired tonight for the first time this preseason, a pairing that was perfect for the Flyers for most of last season. Both have been solid in their one preseason game each, and now we get to see them together for the first time this preseason.
- With the latest possible injury to Michal Neuvirth, we could very well see more of Carter Hart tonight, along with Anthony Stolarz.
Neuvirth was bent over, stretching groin for a long time, slammed stick and walked off, spoke briefly to Sal Raffa and Jim McCrossin. He is now leaving the ice.— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) September 21, 2018
- Phil Myers is back with Robert Hagg on defense. After Hagg’s poor showing against the Rangers on Wednesday night, it should be interesting to see if he can have a bounce back performance tonight.
Forward lines:— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) September 21, 2018
JVR - Patrick- Konecny
Lindblom - Vorobyev - Voracek
Raffl - Weal - Twarynski
Leier- Lehterä - Weise
Defense pairs (Gudas at left D)— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) September 21, 2018
9 Ivan Provorov - 53 Shayne Gostisbehere
8 Robert Hägg - 61 Philippe Myers
3 Radko Gudas - 59 Mark Friedman