After the first round of cuts came yesterday, the Flyers take on the Bruins in possibly the most must-watch game of the preseason so far.
After sustaining a lower body injury a few days ago, and missing the first two preseason games, Morgan Frost makes his much anticipated preseason debut tonight vs. Boston. This will be the Flyers first game of the 2019-20 season not against the New York Islanders, and their third overall. For the Bruins, this is their second preseason tilt after losing to New Jersey on Monday.
There will be quite a few preseason debuts tonight along with Frost, including newly-paid defenseman Ivan Provorov. Here is the full roster for tonight’s matchup:
10 - Andy Andreoff RW
14 - Sean Couturier C
25 - James van Riemsdyk LW
28 - Claude Giroux LW
48 - Morgan Frost C
49 - Joel Farabee RW
50 - German Rubtsov C
51 - Kyle Criscuolo RW
62 - Nicolas Aube-Kubel RW
81 - Carsen Twarynski LW
82 - Connor Bunnaman C
93 - Jakub Voracek RW
5 - Philippe Myers
9 - Ivan Provorov
15 - Matt Niskanen
20 - Chris Bigras
26 - Tyler Wotherspoon
53 - Shayne Gostisbehere
61 - Justin Braun
80 - Rob Michel
34 - Alex Lyon
37 - Brian Elliott
Players to watch for
Morgan Frost — Well you knew he’d be here, of course. While we did get to see Frost play in the rookie game, this is his first official preseason game of this camp. After missing the first two games, Frost has less time than others to state his case to make the NHL roster. That quest starts tonight for Frost, who I’m sure the coaches and front office will have an extra eye on tonight.
Ivan Provorov — After signing a six-year, $40.5 million contract extension exactly one week ago, the Flyers’ number-one defenseman makes his 2019-20 debut tonight. Last season was a struggle for Provorov, who seemingly never found his footing from the jump. There are some questions if he can truly be the team’s top blueliner, and he hopes to put a stop to those questions starting tonight.
Matt Niskanen — Oh look, it’s another debut! Niskanen makes his Flyers debut tonight after coming over in the Radko Gudas trade this offseason. As the projected partner for Provorov, it should be interesting to see how well these two look together on the ice. While a big reason for the Niskanen deal was to give Provorov a steady veteran who can take some of the load off his shoulders, he still needs to prove he’s got some left in the tank. Niskanen is 32 but has quite a bit of mileage on him, given he’s typically been on playoff teams most of his career.
Other news and notes
- Because we’re still not done with debuts, let’s finish off that list. Flyers captain Claude Giroux and first-line center Sean Couturier play their first preseason games tonight as well. Couturier has been notably impressive at training camp and has had the luxury this time around of not having to rehab an injury. This could be an even bigger year for the Flyers center, and it starts tonight.
- These appear to be the lines tonight ...
Farabee with Couturier & Giroux, Frost in between JvR and Voracek, Rubtsov centering Andreoff and Aube-Kubel. Those are your #LinesThatMatter tonight.— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) September 19, 2019
- ... and all I can say is, inject those top two lines into my veins immediately. There are essentially only three preseason games (not counting the one in Switzerland) remaining and the fact Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost are getting this much of an opportunity to prove they belong is very encouraging. Even if they don’t make it, they were given a fair shot.
- Brian Elliott makes his second start of the preseason after a bit of a shaky outing in his first start.
- Most of the projected starting defensemen for the Flyers are playing tonight, with the only absence being that of Travis Sanheim. Provorov, Niskanen, Shayne Gostisbehere, Justin Braun, and Philippe Myers all play tonight which should give us a nice look at what the Flyers’ defense will look like come the regular season.