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Flyers take on Lausanne in final preseason tilt

We got international preseason hockey, folks!

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In the final preseason game before the season opener on Friday, the Flyers head to Switzerland to take on Lausanne HC of the National League, the top Swiss hockey league. The lines for today’s game are the same we saw in practice yesterday, but with a slight change to the defense pairings as all eight will play.

Obviously the biggest surprise here is Joel Farabee on the second line with Kevin Hayes and Jakub Voracek. We haven’t seen this for much of training camp and the preseason, but we very well could see this for this final preseason matchup. Other than that, the lines are essentially what we can expect for the season opener on Friday by the looks of it.

Absent from these lines is forward Chris Stewart who is still with the team on a PTO, and of course the two extra defensemen Robert Hagg and Samuel Morin. Despite Alain Vigneault saying that Myers was not a lock for the roster, one would think him starting in this game bodes well for his opening day chances.

Players to watch for

Joel Farabee — Farabee is all but a guarantee for the opening day roster, and all the eyes will be on the kid as he gets a shot on the second line. This isn’t just playing on the second line in preseason, this is playing second line with two established veterans in this league in the dress rehearsal for Friday. While Vigneault said himself he’d be shocked if Farabee wasn’t in the lineup, it’d be nice to see him finish off the preseason on a high note, and possibly finally get off the snide.

Phil Myers — Now for the player with more to lose. Myers has shown flashes of brilliance this preseason but overall, it’s been a struggle for the 22 year old defenseman. Myers hasn’t been what we expected to see: a guy far too good for the AHL and a shoo-in for the NHL roster. While he starts today, he needs to put a stamp on the preseason and really showcase his talents. We know what an offensive threat he can be with his puck moving abilities, but it’s the decision making and discipline that must be on display today.

The entire fourth line — With the injuries to Nolan Patrick and Morgan Frost, it’s pushed Scott Laughton into the third line center role opening a spot for Connor Bunnaman as the fourth line center. Along with Carsen Twarynski and Michael Raffl, this new look fourth line hopes to show what they’re capable of when the season begins. Twarynski and Bunnaman have had strong preseasons, and finishing it off strong today would be a nice momentum boost heading into the regular season.

Two big questions

1. Will Phil Myers do enough to ensure himself a roster spot?

Simply put, it’s all up to him now. He’s been given plenty of opportunities this preseason to showcase his abilities, he’s got one final shot before the opening act.

2. Will Morin and Hagg do enough to push Myers out?

Sure, this is kind of cheating with two questions on the defense but let’s be real, the offense is pretty much set. Sam Morin has had overall a solid preseason and I think clearly better than that of Robert Hagg. The question now becomes will either of these two do enough to get themselves on the opening day roster over Myers.