It’s finally time! The day we’re all been waiting for! The Flyers are headed outside to play at Lake Tahoe and they’re facing off against the Bruins, which should be... an experience. In case you missed it, the Flyers are still without Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Oskar Lindblom, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, and Justin Braun for this one, but hey, the lineup the Flyers were able to put together without all those guys still picked up a standings point in a shootout loss to the Rangers on Thursday. And we’ll take that.
But the Bruins are going to be a whole other task entirely—they’re sitting at the top of the standings in the division, three points ahead of the Flyers, and have certainly found some success this season. They are going to be without David Krejci and Matt Grzelcyk in this one, and they’ve also lost their last two games, so while we acknowledge that missing those pieces isn’t great for them, we also know a hungry Bruins team can be a dangerous one. So we’ll see how this one goes.
Players to watch
1. Carter Hart
It’s Carter Hart time again, folks! After a pretty solid showing on Thursday against the Rangers, Hart’s getting the nod for his first start in and NHL outdoor game. He had a reasonable workload in his last game, and even after the long layoff, he handled it well, and if the Flyers want to even come close to hanging with the Bruins in this game, they’re going to need Hart to be on. We know all about the firepower that the Bruins have up front, and they’re certainly not going to make thing easy on Hart. So this should be... fun?
2. Mark Friedman
Things are getting pretty weird out here, too. The Flyers made a tweak to their lineup for this game, with David Kase coming out and Mark Friedman slotting back in. And that feels fine and normal until we get to the part of this where we note that Friedman was taking some rushes with the fourth line in practice yesterday, so it looks like he’ll be bouncing back and forth between forward and defense tonight. We’ve said already that we’ve liked Friedman’s couple of games so far this season, but this is certainly uncharted territory that we’re dipping into, here. Which feels sort of fitting, in a way. Let’s get weird.
Two big questions
1. Can the Flyers get anything out of their power play?
It probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the Flyers’ newly configured power play with the pieces that they have left didn’t really have a whole lot going for them on Thursday. We’re not going to get too fussed about that, because, well, they’re missing so many of their key power play contributors. But, that said, it sure would be nice to see them break through in this one. Here’s hoping, right?
2. Can they at least hang around in this one?
The only big positive that came out of Thursday’s game was that the Flyers were able to at least hang in that game and skate with the Rangers for just about the duration of the game. And this, it pretty much goes without saying, feels like a pretty huge feat for this team that the Flyers were (barely) able to cobble together. But, that said, the Rangers are really just not very good this year, and the Bruins, well, are, so this is going to be an entirely different beast that they’re facing. The Bruins are missing a couple of key pieces themselves, but all the same, Flyers are definitely going to have their work cut out for them.
Puck drops at 7:30 (allegedly, but it’s a national broadcast, so you know how that goes), and you can check out the projected lineup below.
Van Riemsdyk - Couturier - Farabee
Raffl - Hayes- Aube-Kubel
Bunnaman - Patrick - Sushko
Morin - Andreoff - Friedman*
Provorov - Myers
Sanheim - Gostisbehere
Hägg - Gustafsson
Sky from Stanley Cup of Chowder is back to tell us about what the Bruins have been up to the last couple of weeks, including key injuries, a lot of suboptimal performance, and a little bad luck. We also talk outdoor hockey and the visual treat we’ll all be consuming Sunday afternoon,.