You guys, are the Flyers good?
Well they very well might be and the latest evidence would be a 3-2 shootout win over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night in Toronto. The Flyers tried to blow a 2-0 lead, but rallied in the shootout to grab two points from a very good Maple Leafs team on a strong run of their own.
Brian Elliott was phenomenal in turning aside 38 of 40 shots in the win, but it’s Carter Hart’s turn tonight against a Bruins team that sits atop the Atlantic Division. Despite their standing, the Bruins have lost two straight after their flaming-hot start.
Boston comes in as one of the NHL’s most potent offenses with 3.63 goals per game while allowing just 2.44. Their big guns like Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak still get the job done offensively, and Pastrnak ranks among the NHL’s top point producers thus far. In net Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak hold down the fort behind a deep and talented defensive corps.
Not only are they good, but they’re rested and waiting for a Flyers team playing on the second leg of a back-to-back after an overtime tangle with the Maple Leafs.
Three players to watch for
1. Philippe Myers
Another night and another impressive performance from No. 5 in Orange and Black. Myers potted his second of the season against the Maple Leafs and is starting to settle in to his place among the Flyers’ defense. He provides a unique blend of skills that gives the Flyers a dynamic element on the blue line. Expect his young legs to be in play for Alain Vigneault tonight right after the extra time win in Toronto.
2. Carter Hart
After watching a brilliant showing from Brian Elliott a night ago, the onus is on Hart to follow up against another great team in Boston. Hart recovered from his early season struggles with a couple good showings in a row so it will be interesting to see how Hart responds with a likely tried team in front of him in this one.
3. Oskar Lindblom
Lindblom has been one of the more impressive Flyers during their early season success and he can play a heavy game that should benefit against the high checking Bruins. The line that he’s played on has been lights out and the Flyers will need that line to be strong again if they’re expecting to grab any points out of this matchup.
Two big questions
1. How tired will they be?
The November schedule has already shown signs of getting to the Flyers, and a long and exhausting game in Toronto might have the Flyers playing from behind in Boston tonight. Can the young legs in the lineup propel them through this one?
2. Can Carter Hart hold down the fort?
Elliott was tremendous in Toronto, and the Flyers needed it, so can the young netminder provide the same? It’s a big ask with the Flyers likely a tired club coming off that marathon against the Maple Leafs.