After an exhilarating win vs. Boston on Monday night, the Flyers head to St. Louis to take on the defending champs looking to build on momentum. This team has been a roller coaster over the past couple of weeks, looking like one of the better teams in the league at home, and one of the worst on the road. That will be tested tonight with the Flyers facing one of the best teams in hockey in their barn.
The Blues have followed up their first Stanley Cup in team history with a 30-10-7 start to the season, positioning themselves well for post all-star break hockey. They find themselves first place in the Central division nine points ahead of the second place Dallas Stars, and eleven ahead of the third place Colorado Avalanche.
The Flyers meanwhile, are thirteen points behind the Metro leading Capitals, and two points behind the Hurricanes for the top Wild Card spot. This team has struggled so mightily on the road, but a good showing tonight vs. a top team like St. Louis would be quite the confidence booster. Brian Elliott the de facto road warrior will get the start, but will have extra pressure with Carter Hart suffering with a lower body injury.
Players to watch for
Connor Bunnaman — After a rough audition with the Flyers early in the season, if only for one game, The Bunn Man looked looked much improved vs. Boston. He was flying on the ice and his shot was flying as well, looking like a legit NHL shot. We’ll see if this continues, but a strong showing tonight against another strong team would be fantastic to see.
Sean Couturier — It really seems like Couturier has answered the bell of late in terms of the top players picking up the pace. He has nine points in his last six games including two three point nights, with one of them coming Monday vs. Boston. He’s just about on pace for another 70 point season, furthering the point that he’s one of the best centermen in the game today.
Two big questions
1. Can the penalty kill hold strong?
After going 1-2 vs. the league’s third best power play, the Flyers now face the league’s fourth best. This will be another tough test for the Flyers, but if they can stop the power play, and more importantly stay out of the box, they’ll be in much better shape.
2. Will Elliott bounce back?
Both Hart and Elliott have struggled of late, and it’ll be the former’s chance tonight to get back on track. In his last two starts, he’s allowed four and five goals respectively. A big game tonight vs. his former team would be a huge boost for this team.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Giroux - Hayes - Konecny
Raffl - Couturier - Voracek
JVR - Laughton - NAK
Our hopes and dreams - Bunnaman - Pitlick
Provorov - Niskanen
Sanheim - Braun
Hagg - Myers
The St. Louis Blues are a pretty good team still! And surprisingly Craig Berube might actually be a solid coach? Dan Buffa from St. Louis Game Time talks about Chief and how the Blues season has gone so far.