Hello! Quick preview today because we’re a little bit behind, but in fairness, (/gestures at the state of the Flyers). Anywho! Flyers-Sabres. Game’s at 1:00, on NHL Network and NBC Sports Philadelphia (which means no ESPN+, for those of you who rely on that). Some notes and thoughts:
- The Flyers, as you surely are aware, have lost 10 games in a row. No, this is not the same as that other time they lost 10 games in a row. Yes, it has happened twice already.
- Yes, it has also happened twice before the halfway mark of the season, which will mercifully be reached at the conclusion of today’s game, the 41st of this Flyers season.
- Since their last 10th consecutive loss, the Flyers have lost one of their only good players this season to injury, as Joel Farabee — who missed a few minutes on Tuesday night with a painful-looking shoulder injury, then played the rest of that game as well as all of Thursday night’s loss to Columbus — was placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss a few weeks. So, if you left Thursday night’s game asking “can this really get any worse?”, well, never ask a question you’re not prepared to learn the answer to.
- But it’s not all bad! I mean, it almost is, but there’s one mildly fun piece of news today: Wade Allison, who missed a large chunk of this season with an ankle injury and then a smaller chunk with an elbow injury, will be making his season debut today. His call-up at a similar dreary point of last season gave the team a bit of juice as you could tell he was one of the only players on the team that hadn’t totally had the life sucked out of him from this hockey season, which should make today’s game a very familiar setting for him. Also, he was pretty damn good when he was on the ice, so if he could keep that up, that’d be nice.
- Also, this is Rasmus Ristolainen’s first game against his old team, the Buffalo Sabres, where he spent the first eight years of his career being a part of a lot of losses. Good thing he got traded here to (/checks notes) be a part of a lot of losses. Hey, Rasmus, any thoughts on today’s game?
"Like I told the guys last night, there's no better place to turn this around than in Buffalo," Rasmus Ristolainen said with a grin.— Giana Han (@giana_jade) January 22, 2022
That is a BOLD thing to say right now, my dude, but in fairness, there’s a reasonable possibility that he’s correct.
- So, about those Sabres. Remember last season when the Sabres were basically the only team the Flyers ever played? Them, Boston, and the Rangers? Have to say, I do not miss that. (I know there were four other teams the Flyers played, but it just felt like they played those three teams more, right?)
- Also, remember last season when the Sabres went into a back-to-back with the Flyers on a 17-game losing streak, nearly ended it against them in the first game but blew a three-goal third period lead and lost in overtime, and then the next game DID end it with a 6-1 demolition of the Flyers two nights later? It’s tough for me to decide what would be funnier, the Sabres ending the Flyers’ losing streak or them continuing it.
- Oh, you wanted me to say more about the Sabres. Really? Fine. They’re bad. As they have been for a while. Some fun talent in there — Tage Thompson seems like he’s finally putting it together after a few years of being “the extremely underwhelming headliner of the Ryan O’Reilly trade”, and they’ve got some solid young talents up front in the likes of Dylan Cozens and Peyton Krebs, but all in all there is not much going on here.
- Is Rasmus Dahlin good? I still have no idea if Rasmus Dahlin is good.
- Hahahahahahahahaha this game is on NATIONAL TELEVISION. Sort of. A game between two teams that are abjectly brutal is on NHL Network. Maybe because it’s the only game on at 1:00, but subjecting your fanbase at large to this seems cruel.
- On that note, what do you think the actual attendance is going to be today? These teams are terrible, it’s a Saturday afternoon, it’s absolutely freezing outside, and there’s still a pandemic happening. Feels like a game where the arena is gonna be 25 percent full, even for a hockey-crazed town like Buffalo.
If you’re still here, enjoy, and go Flyers, I guess.