Flyers After Dark is almost over folks! The Flyers are closing out their Western Canadian road trip tonight in Calgary against the Flames. Western Canada has been kind to the Flyers so far, as they swept their back to back games against Edmonton and Vancouver during the week, and they’re looking to close out this trip on a high note.
They have a tough task ahead of them, though, as they’re meeting an undeniably hot Flames team. They just got back from the East Coast, where they won each of their last five games in a row. Should be an interesting one!
Players to watch
After picking up five goals in the three games prior, Atkinson was held off the board on Thursday against Vancouver. He’s been red hot to start the season, his line doing some great work, and while they didn’t get themselves on the board, the same could still be said of them on Thursday. It’s hard to imagine that Atkinson will be kept quiet for too much longer, and with the Flames missing one of their key defenders in Noah Hanifin and opting to pull Juuso Valimaki out of the lineup in favor of the much slower Nikita Zadorov... well, let’s say that we can imagine that the quicker players like Atkinson may have some room to work with in this one.
After a solid showing on Wednesday in Edmonton, the Flyers will be going back to Hart for this one, and he’ll be looking to sweep his set of starts in Alberta (say that five times fast).
The Flames have been getting a nice bit of offensive production to start the season, averaging 3.57 goals per game and 35.29 shots on goal per game over their first seven games, and they've scored four or more in each of their last four games. Their offense has been clicking well, so Hart is going to have his work cut out for him in this one. He’ll be looking to get a bit more help from the skaters—who have done very well over the last two games of keeping the opposing offenses limited to taking the bulk of their shots from the perimeter—but he’ll need to be on himself if the team wants to pick up the final win of the road trip.
Two big questions
Can the power play keep rolling?
The Flyers have been getting some good work from their power play over the last bit here, and that all culminated in a very nice goal for James van Riemsdyk on Thursday. They’ve gotten at least one goal in each of their last four games, and they just keep looking more and more dangerous as time goes on. Their passing against the Canucks looked downright lethal, and things seem to really be trending in the right direction for the power play. They’ll be facing off against a Flames penalty kill tonight, though, that’s also been looking quite solid of late, so they’ll have a difficult task ahead of them to see if they’ll be able to keep their momentum rolling.
Can the Flyers weather the storm?
The Flames have found a good deal of success over their last few games by coming out with some jump, having their offense clicking right off the bat, jumping out to an early lead in the first period and then locking things down for the final two, tightening up in the neutral zone and letting their defense force teams to try to grind it out to cobble together any offense. The Flyers are going to have to start this one and avoid falling behind early, or else things are going to be tough for them here. Their starts have been better of late, so we’re not coming into this with a huge amount of worry, but it’s certainly something to be aware of going in. The first period is going to be an important one here.
Puck drops at 10:00 tonight, and you can check out the projected lineup below.
Giroux - Couturier - Konecny
Farabee - Brassard - Atkinson
Lindblom - Laughton - van Riemsdyk
Aube-Kubel - Thompson - MacEwan
Provorov - Braun
Sanheim - Ristolainen
Yandle - Seeler