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Flyers set to kick off back-to-back against Penguins

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Home stretch, folks.

NHL: APR 15 Flyers at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re back at it again already, folks! The Flyers closed out their four game series against the Devils with a 4-1 loss on Saturday, and, well, things are just not looking so great around here. But it’s a brand new week, the last full week of the season, in fact, and we’re hoping we can close things out stronger than how they’ve been going.

Next up on the docket for the Flyers is a back-to-back against the Penguins tonight and tomorrow. The Penguins have been on a pretty stellar run, of late, winning seven of their last 10 games, and are currently sitting at the top of the North Division. They’ll be a formidable opponent for a Flyers team that is decidedly floundering right now, but you may remember, the last time these two teams met, the Flyers did pick up a shootout win over them. So at least there’s that?

Players to watch

Joel Farabee

It’s been a bit of an up and down second half of the season for Farabee after a hot start, but he’s been looking like he’s trending back in the right direction recently. He picked up the Flyers’ lone goal in Saturday’s loss, and was one of the few players who’s been showing some life. Energy and production have been in short supply around here, at least with consistency, so Farabee bringing that has been a significant boost. And here’s hoping that he’s able to bring some more of that into tonight’s matchup and keep some of that momentum rolling.

Wade Allison

We’ll stick to the theme of “young players we’d like to see a little more from” here, and give a nod to Allison. He was lights out in the first couple of games after his debut, but has cooled off a little bit of late. He hasn’t been playing poorly, to be clear, but it’ just hasn’t been quite the same level of energy and productivity (and perhaps that drop-off was to be expected). But Allison too has been looking like he’s getting back to the old form over the last couple of games, and very nearly broke through on a couple of occasions on Saturday. He’s been knocking on the door, as they say, and it feels like it’s only a matter of time before something breaks his way.

Two big questions

Can the penalty kill rebound?

It was a decidedly pretty tough showing for the Flyers on the penalty kill against the Devils last week, as they gave up four goals in two games to one of the worst power plays in the league. But the good news, if we’re looking for some, is that they were perfect on the penalty kill on Saturday, and that certainly was a welcomed changed. Now, the next step is to see if the Flyers can maintain that form, put up a decent showing on the penalty kill tonight, and avoid falling back into their old bad habits.

And listen, we’re not expecting the world from the Flyers here, even if they do rebound to some degree. The penalty kill’s been a mess all season, and we’re not going to get our hopes up that they’ll magically start looking like they did last year now. But something other than standing around hoping to block something while getting cycled to death? That’s all we’re hoping for, folks.

Energy, anyone?

And finally, we arrive at the question of energy once again. It’s something the Flyers have been lacking on a consistent basis through much of the season, but its lack has steadily gotten worse as things have gone worse for the team, and as they were finally mathematically eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday. We all know (the players included) that they still have a lot to prove this season, even if it’s just “I care and deserve to not be traded away this summer.” No one wants this last week to be a slog, so here’s hoping that the Flyers can bring some jump to their game tonight.