Another game, another shootout. That’s exactly what we had on Saturday between the Flyers and Calgary Flames, as the team lost in the shootout after blowing another late lead. Tonight, they’ll take on another team from western Canada, in the Vancouver Canucks, hoping for much better results than the first game vs. Vancouver.
While they weren’t shelled in that game — in fact they generally played a game good enough to win much like Saturday — they were handed their first loss of the season vs. Vancouver. They’ll hope to avoid losing both games to them, and look to solve projected starter Thatcher Demko. They faced Jakob Markstrom in their first meeting this season, and struggled mightily, so they’ll be hoping for better results tonight.
The Flyers defense was spectacular vs. Calgary, but once again their offense failed to convert on their many chances. If they play that game ten times, the Flyers probably win nine of them. If they put the same kind of effort into tonight’s game, one would hope the results would come and puck luck goes their way.
At 5-on-5, the Flyers still post the seventh worst shooting percentage in the league. Sure, it seems like a lot of bad luck, and eventually their solid metrics will translate to goals. However, at some point the stars on this team have to start scoring. Jakub Voracek finally got one vs. Calgary, but he and James van Riemsdyk have struggled mightily of late, and if both of them start converting on their scoring chances, this team probably has a much better record.
For the second straight game, it appears as though Shayne Gostisbehere will be a healthy scratch again in favor of Robert Hagg. It’s been a rough go-around for Ghost this season, and while we all want to see him snap out of this funk, it’s hard to fault Alain Vigneault too much for this decision.
Players to watch
Joel Farabee — Things have been rough for the kid of late, with just two points in his last seven games including some not so great penalties. It’s of course important to remember he’s still just a 19-year-old playing his first NHL games, but it’d be nice to see him snap out of the funk he’s been in. He did get a point his last game vs. Calgary on a great forechecking play to set up Kevin Hayes, so hopefully he can build on that.
Jakub Voracek — Voracek hadn’t scored a goal since late October until his goal on Saturday vs. Calgary, and had been held pointless in four straight. He’s another guy the Flyers need to get going if they’ll turn it around, so hopefully that goal gives him some much needed confidence. He’s played better since being moved up to the Couturier line — unsurprisingly enough — so at some point the results should come along with the strong underlying numbers.
Two big questions
1. Can they avoid overtime/shootout?
This is a question, but also more of a plead. Getting as many points as possible is huge in this league, so it’s hard to complain too much about this string of overtime games, but it’s getting old, folks. This team could really use a dominating performance, and a regulation win.
2. Will the Flyers be able to solve Demko?
They weren’t able to solve Markstrom, so let’s see how they fare against the Canucks backup. This team has struggled to score goals of late, but we also know this team’s trend of struggling vs. backups as well.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Lindblom — Couturier — Voracek
Giroux — Frost — Konecny
Laughton — Hayes — Farabee
JVR — Raffl — Pitlick
Provorov — Niskanen
Sanheim — Braun
Hagg — Myers
After starting the season under low expectations from fans and media alike, the Canucks are closing out November third in the Pacific Division and come into Philly with wins in their last two. They’re getting great goaltending from a rookie, a ton of offense from new additions to the offense, and their special teams are firing on all cylinders. Kent Basky of Nucks Misconduct fills us in on how Vancouver has looked since we last saw them in early October.