The Flyers’ trend of blowing leads finally caught up with them on Wednesday when they lost in overtime to the Bruins. They played arguably their best game of the season, but some late costly penalties ended up costing them in the end. This trend simply cannot continue if the Flyers want to be serious contenders for a Stanley Cup Final birth this season.
Entering tonight’s game, the Flyers sit tied with the Bruins for the top spot in the Eastern Division even with less than ideal showings in the early going. Should they win tonight, they’ll hold sole possession of first place and take three out of a possible four points in the two game series.
Carter Hart deserved a win on Wednesday, now Brian Elliott gets the call. He’ll be looking to go 4-0 on the season. If that’s going to happen though, they can’t get off to the terrible start they did last game. And although they were controversial, they can’t take the same dumb penalties. They can’t give the referees a chance to decide the game which is exactly what they did.
What the Flyers did in the second and third period though as a whole, is exactly what they need to do to win this game. They were aggressive on the forecheck, tight defensively, and were creative yet simple when they got space in the offensive zone. Put that together for a full 60 minutes and you have a recipe for success.
Two big questions
1. Will Gostisbehere bounce back?
Last game was the first time for a full game that we saw the 2019-20 Shayne Gostisbehere. He did some nice things offensively but was an absolute mess in his own zone. When he’s turning the puck over like he was in that game, the worry starts to creep in that he’ll revert to “bad Ghost.” How he rebounds in tonight’s game I think will be a huge sign of how his season will go.
2. Can the Flyers play a full 60?
They haven’t done it so far, no better time than now against their main competition in the division.
Flyers projected lineup
Giroux — Hayes — Voracek
Lindblom — Patrick — Konecny
JVR — Laughton — Farabee
Raffl — Bunnaman — NAK
Provorov — Gostisbehere
Sanheim — Myers
Gustafsson — Braun