It’s the weekend! And the Flyers are back at it again tonight against the Sabres, and they’re looking to keep all of this momentum that they’ve been building rolling with another win, here. That would be their ninth in a row, for those keeping track at home.
The last time we saw the Flyers, they were dishing out a 4-1 win over the Hurricanes, and claiming, if only for a hot second, the first place spot in the Metro. They’re back in second place now, as Washington has the tiebreaker advantage, but with a win tonight and a Capitals loss this afternoon, the Flyers could jump into first place for real. Which would be pretty fun, if you ask us.
The Sabres, by contrast, are not having very much fun this season. After a pretty strong start, the wheels have come off again and they’ve slipped to sixth in the Atlantic. They’ve lose their last five in a row and are in a pretty tough spot, and the Flyers are going to look to take advantage.
Players to watch
Joel Farabee: He might not have been rewarded on the scoresheet on Thursday, but Farabee certainly had himself a game, looking really active in generating high danger chances and in general looked like he should have picked up a goal or two from those efforts. And it just wasn’t in the cards for him that night, but we can’t shake the feeling that if he keeps putting in work like that, that it won’t be long at all before things break open for him again. And tonight will be our first chance to see if he’s able to keep going, generating chances at that same clip, and if he’ll get rewarded this time around.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel: Maybe we’re not talking enough about it, but Aube-Kubel’s been playing some really great hockey of late. And I could break down just how good he’s been, but Brad went ahead and did it for me.
In the 17 games since the All-Star break, Aube-Kubel has 11 points.— Brad Keffer (@brad_keffer) March 6, 2020
Over that stretch he has a 56.22 CF%, a 60.03 xGF%, and a +8 goal differential at 5v5. (via NST)
Taking a 5-game point streak into tomorrow night’s game. Stud.
The fourth line in general has been looking strong recently, and Aube-Kubel has been key to that. He’s taking his limited minutes and he’s worked out how to be the most effective in them, and the Flyers are reaping the benefits. And can he get to six games in a row with a point tonight? We’ll find out!
Two big questions
Can the Flyers take care of business?
There’s often a lot made of teams playing down to their competition, and maybe there’s something there, or maybe it’s just the case that sometimes teams lose to worse teams and that’s hockey. But, all the same, the Flyers are staring down a lesser opponent on paper and they have the opportunity to quash the playing down to their competition narrative. We don’t even really need them to play a super flashy game, we just need them to keep their heads down and take care of business against this team that they really should beat. Just do the thing, gang.
Can they get to nine in a row?
That really is the big question, here. The Flyers are on a pretty remarkable run right now, and a nine game winning streak would just be pretty sweet. This is their longest streak of the season by a pretty comfortable margin and we just never want to see it end. Can they make it to nine? Here’s hoping.
Puck drops at 7:00 tonight, and you can check out the projected lineup below.
Giroux - Couturier - Voracek
Farabee - Hayes - Konecny
Laughton - Grant - Pitlick
Raffl - Thompson - Aube-Kubel
Provorov - Niskanen
Sanheim - Myers
Hagg - Braun
Despite having some really high-end talent like Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin, the Sabres are just... bad. They’re really bad. And you can hear it in the way Chad DeDominicis, of Die By The Blade, describes the current state of the team and what we should expect when they take the ice against the Flyers Saturday night.