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For the first time since March 10, the Flyers play a hockey game today

Previews? For hockey games? In this economy?

Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

* taps mic * Is ... is this thing on?

It’s been an agonizing three and a half months, but finally, Flyers hockey is back. We last left you on March 10 when the Flyers played the Boston Bruins in a game that feels like it was a decade ago. They lost that game, but who really cares at this stage. A lot has transpired since then, and all of it remains of high importance and relevance, but at least now we can have maybe just a couple hours to take our minds off of it. A couple of hours to watch our hockey team play real life hockey games, and maybe win a Stanley Cup along the way.

But before the playoffs begin, we have some exhibition hockey to tend to, and what better team to face than our possible first round adversaries in the Pittsburgh Penguins. This game means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. It’s a tune-up as the Flyers prepare for their round-robin games to determine seeding between them, the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Washington Capitals. The Flyers have nothing to lose in those round-robin games, seeing as they came in as the fourth seed. The Penguins, meanwhile, prepare for their five game play-in series vs. the Montreal Canadiens, which begins August 1.

We got news yesterday that we will see Carter Hart play this afternoon, but only for the first two periods before yielding to Brian Elliott. Hart had a minor scare as the teams returned to training camp with back spasms, but the fact he’s good to go for today’s game is a good sign.

Two big questions

1. How quickly do they shake off the rust?

Obviously, it’s been three months, I don’t expect them to come out firing on all cylinders like the team we saw before the shut down. It’s also a game played in front of zero fans which is going to be a huge adjustment for these guys.

2. How will Egor Zamula look?

According to Charlie O’ Connor of The Athletic (and BSH Radio), Zamula will dress for today’s game. He made the playoff roster that was released on Sunday, but we all wondered how much of a look he’d really get. Well, clearly a decent look! He made the roster for a reason and I think it’s safe to say we’re all excited what he could bring to the table.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Forwards

Giroux-Couturier-Voracek

Laughton-Hayes-TK

JvR-Grant-Pitlick

Raffl-Thompson-Farabee/NAK

Defense

Provorov-Niskanen

Sanheim-Myers

Ghost/Hagg-Braun

Goalie

Hart

(Elliott)


Ahead of this first taste of NHL action in months we chatted with Garrett Behanna of Pensburgh about the pause, the Penguins roster battles, the health of their captain, and the overall feeling heading into the play-in tournament.

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