Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Is time relative? Why do we choose to continue watching the Philadelphia Flyers at this point in the season? These are the questions that have plagued scientists for as long as they’ve existed. The last one is what we’re going to focus on today.
The Flyers take on the Los Angeles Kings in an afternoon matchup at Wells Fargo Center. They are ending the horrid month of January against the same team they started it against.
In their first matchup against this Western Conference foe, the Flyers lost by a decisive score of 6-3. It was the end of the miraculous seven-game point streak that the team was able to muster up towards the end of the 2021 calendar year. The Kings’ line of Trevor Moore, Viktor Arvidsson, and Phillip Danault combined for a ridiculous 11 points in their route on New Years Day. Joel Farabee, Kevin Hayes, and Ivan Provorov were the goal scorers for the Flyers. It was the second loss of the current 13-game losing streak.
It is the second and final matchup between these two teams. Los Angeles is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games with an overall record of 22-16-6. They sit in third place in the Pacific Division, only two points behind the Anaheim Ducks in second place with two games in hand.
The Flyers are last in the Metropolitan Division, and there isn’t much else to it. They’ve been one of the worst teams in the NHL, especially as of late.
Kings Player to Watch
The Kings have plenty of players to watch. Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty are the veteran leaders of the team, as well as Phillip Danault. One player that I would suggest watching is Quinton Byfield. The 2020 second overall draft pick scored his first NHL goal against the New York Islanders in his 10th NHL game. As he gets more comfortable with the speed of the NHL game and his linemates, he will continue to make an impact on the scoresheet. He should also be a talking point for the Flyers because, considering where they sit in the standings and their current trajectory, they should be getting a player of his caliber in the upcoming draft! Obviously, it’s not ideal. However, a 19-year-old, 6-foot-4 center with mountains of upside will be worth the wait for the Kings, and if the Flyers aren’t careful, he can make a sizeable impact.
Flyers Player to Watch
It would be very easy for me to go with the usual suspects. Cam Atkinson, Farabee, and Claude Giroux have played relatively well. The same with Carter Hart, who continues to be left out to dry by one of the league’s worst defenses. However, a new name in town is set to make his NHL debut. Isaac Ratcliffe is the 35th overall pick by the Flyers in the 2017 NHL Draft. He hasn’t exactly lit up the scoresheet in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He has 33 points in 106 games. The Flyers brought in the 6-foot-6 forward primarily to make the fourth line even more imposing physically. If the Flyers are going to break out of this horrible winning drought against a team from the other side of the country, then they’re going to need a line of players with big bodies that can grind their way to goals. Whether or not Ratcliffe can do this is yet to be seen, but at the very least, his physical presence will be something that the Kings have to watch out for.
This significant moment in a player’s young career is like a piece of gold in a trash heap. No one wants to be around garbage heaps, but finding the piece of gold and seeing joyous expressions can make it all worth it, metaphorically speaking. Even if you don’t want to tune in for the Flyers as a whole, at least we can get solace in the fact that a player’s dream of playing in the NHL is coming true.
Oskar Lindblom — Claude Giroux — Cam Atkinson
James van Riemsdyk — Scott Laughton — Travis Konecny
Max Willman — Morgan Frost — Gerry Mayhew
Isaac Ratcliffe — Connor Bunnaman — Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov — Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim — Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle — Cam York
That’s all from me, everybody! Go Flyers, I guess.