Looking to build on momentum from a huge 5-3 win over Carolina, the Flyers take on the Calgary Flames today in South Philly. The Flyers needed a big win like they got on Thursday to snap a four-game losing streak and right the ship a bit. They now look to continue that success against an underachieving team in the Flames.
Calgary sits at just 10-12-3 on the season, but only three points out of a playoff position in the seemingly weaker-by-the-day Western Conference. This will be the second and final time the Flyers play the Flames this season, having lost earlier this season in Calgary in one of the more ugly games of the season. That game was part of the Western Canada trip early on, which saw the team face their first struggles of the season.
For the Flyers, with their win over the Canes they now sit tied for the first wild card spot with their cross state rivals in the Pittsburgh Penguins. A win vs. Calgary doesn’t have the impact a win vs. a divisional team does of course, but this team needs to build momentum and close out the hellish month of November strong. They’re just about through the roughest parts of the month, so this is the time to collect some (hopefully) easy points, especially after today’s game.
Players to watch for
Morgan Frost — He was a player to watch for last game, and he is in this one for the same reasons. Frost had himself his first multi-point night on Thursday vs. Carolina, and now has three points in his first two NHL games. Now he plays his first game in front of the Flyers’ faithful at the Wells Fargo Center, and hopes to continue his strong play.
Scott Laughton — The forward hasn’t played since the 26th of October when he was injured in a game vs. Columbus, but Laughton is finally back. The Flyers have missed the bottom-six depth he brought to the table, and getting him back makes things much easier for head coach Alain Vigneault in setting his lineups. It wouldn’t be all too shocking to see him look a bit rusty in this game, but regardless this team is better with him in the lineup.
James van Riemsdyk — JVR is slumping, no doubt about it. He’s paid to score goals and he just hasn’t done a whole lot of that in the early going. It’s not for the lack of scoring chances, as he’s been racking them up just about every game. But if he’s not finishing, he’s not earning that pay day he got in the 2018 offseason. At some point he has to get it going and start finishing his chances, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Two big Questions
1. Will the power play look dangerous again?
They only got one power play goal in a few attempts vs. Carolina, but with Claude Giroux on the left side the top unit looked as dangerous as ever. While I don’t hate seeing Giroux on the right side from time to time — just to mix things up a bit and not give teams the same look — they’re clearly more dangerous with him in his natural spot.
2. Will Morgan Frost keep it going?
Three points in his first two NHL games, and he’s still playing with Giroux on the second line. He’s been given every opportunity to succeed, and so far he’s taken advantage of it.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Lindblom — Couturier — Voracek
Giroux — Frost — Konecny
Laughton — Hayes — Farabee
JVR — Raffl — Pitlick
Provorov — Niskanen
Gostisbehere — Braun
Sanheim — Myers