Hello folks, it’s been a little while! The Flyers hit the ice for the first time since Saturday’s win over the Ottawa Senators, as they take on the Colorado Avalanche. They’ll do so however without leading point scorer, Travis Konecny. The Flyers’ forward suffered a concussion in the win over Ottawa, and is out indefinitely.
Tonight, the Flyers look to survive without Konecny, against the Avalanche with one of the most lethal offenses in the league. The Avs are second in the league in goals, but also aren’t sacrificing much defensively. They’re allowing the sixth fewest goals in the league, without the best showing from starter Philipp Grubauer. They sit second in the Central Division behind the defending champions, the St. Louis Blues.
Despite the loss of Konecny, the Flyers will get some help on the offensive front, even if it’s not tonight. David Kase has been recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, after putting up six points in 23 games with them this season. Although he hasn’t scored at a high rate with Lehigh, he’s been driving play at a high rate, with a 56.49 Corsi according to Brad Keffer’s Phancy Stats.
Players to watch for
The top line — Is this cheating? Maybe. Do I care? Nah. Without Konecny, the Flyers top line of Claude Giroux and Morgan Frost will now feature Tyler Pitlick as well. Many expected James van Riemsdyk to get a look, but Pitlick who has been a nice addition to the bottom six will get this shot. This appears to be more of a move so that the rest of the lines do not have to be changed, especially with how well the Sean Couturier and Kevin Hayes’ lines have been performing.
Ivan Provorov — The Flyers number one defenseman has been stellar of late, with five points in the last six games. He’s continued his great season with another hot stretch both offensively and defensively, so it should be interesting to see if he can keep that up tonight.
Two big questions
1. How will the new lines look?
Pitlick on the line with Giroux and Frost is obviously the more spicy question here, but the fourth line with Chris Stewart or David Kase on it will be interesting to watch as well. In limited time, Stewart hasn’t looked great, and Kase is a relative unknown.
2. Can they slow down the Colorado offense?
More specifically, Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon has been incredible so far, with 47 points in 30 games, leading the Avs. If the Flyers are going to win this game, slowing down the Avs’ best player will be a huge step.
Flyers projected lineup
Giroux — Frost — Pitlick
Lindblom — Couturier — Voracek
Laughton — Hayes — Farabee
JVR — Vorobyev — Kase/Stewart
Provorov — Niskanen
Sanheim — Braun
Gostisbehere — Myers
NOTE: So, apparently Oskar Lindblom is out with an upper body injury, and will not play tonight which means David Kase will make his NHL debut. On what line? Who the hell knows. I’m sure we’ll find out the second this is updated because the Flyers suck at timing.
(No, I’m not bitter)
In this week’s Checking out the Competition, Kelly sits down with Nathan Rudolph of DNVR Sports to talk about the streaking Avs, their own injury woes, and the possibility of them looking at getting Taylor Hall from the New Jersey Devils.