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Flyers - Ducks Preview: The road trip is almost over

Late night starts are bad, but they’re almost done.

NHL: DEC 29 Flyers at Ducks Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers’ point streak has officially ended thanks to a loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Now, they’re headed to play their next-door neighbor, the Anaheim Ducks. It’s the first matchup of the season between the two teams, and mercifully, it’s the last game of a seemingly long west coast road trip.

The Flyers have historically struggled on the California road trip, and this season, it has been pretty much the same outcome. They’re 1-1-1 over the three games they’ve played so far, but it probably could have been worse if not for some crazy plays and excellent goaltending.

The Ducks are the second-best team in the Pacific Division with a 17-11-7 record, trailing the Vegas Golden Knights by four points in the same amount of games played. The Calgary Flames are back after a tough stint with Covid-19 protocol, and they’re one point behind the Ducks with five games in hand. At the beginning of the season, no one could have predicted that the Ducks would be this successful. However, they are proving everyone wrong. With an injection of youth, solid play on both ends of the puck, and great goaltending, they’ve proven to be a legitimate threat in the 2021-22 season. They’re a fun team to watch with plenty of talent on display every night.

Unfortunately, Flyers fans won’t have the pleasure of watching Trevor Zegras play their favorite team, as he is in the Covid-19 protocol. Apparently, he isn’t too happy about it either.

News broke as well about the Flyers having some Covid-19 protocol additions as well. Claude Giroux, Ivan Provorov, and a member of the staff were placed there earlier today. The addition of Giroux hurts especially as he has been the team’s best forward and arguably best player over the course of the season. Losing Provorov hurts as well considering Ryan Ellis still has yet to return, and they’re down the two top defenseman. However, that means Cam York will get the opportunity to play in his hometown, which should be a pretty awesome experience for the young defenseman.

There will still be plenty of strong talent on display for both sides, and it’s going to be a great goaltending battle as well. These two teams have tandems that have had strong performances to start the year, and hopefully, it will only get better as it moves forward. One thing that the Flyers have to watch out for is taking too many penalties. The Ducks have the fourth-best power play in the entire NHL, at 26.9 percent. It has been a treat to watch so far, and even though one of their main threats has been stripped away, you can’t sleep on it.

Ducks Player to Watch

Troy Terry

Terry has been a revelation of sorts in 2021-22. He has a team-leading 31 points in 34 games, including four game-winning goals. He and Zegras have been the main catalysts for Anaheim’s offense, but he will have more responsibility to score for his team with the rookie out. Terry is a good skater with some excellent puck-handling abilities, but his goal-scoring ability is the best part of his game through the eye test and the stat sheet. His 18 goals lead the Ducks by a long shot (the second place scorer has eight), and it’s easy to see why. He manages to find lanes on the ice that not many players would see, drives them, and perfectly places his shots. But you can’t only play the shot because he’s not afraid to find an open man and move it either. He’s an all-around threat and one of the reasons why the Ducks have had so much success early in the season. He was over a point per game at one point this season, and even if he doesn’t get back to that point, his impact can’t be overstated.

Flyers Player to Watch

Joel Farabee

Farabee has been an entertaining player to watch over this last stretch of games, primarily because his scoring touch has seemingly returned. He has three goals and four points over his last five games, which has moved his total to 14 points in 25 games. 10 of those 14 points are goals. He’s shooting a ridiculous 24.4 percent, which is bound to come down at some point, but he’s making a sizable impact in almost every game now. Earlier in the season, he seemed to disappear at times or make boneheaded plays due to a lack of confidence. There is a lot to like about how Farabee is playing right now, especially because the goals aren’t empty either. When he isn’t scoring, he’s generating chances for himself or his linemates. He has been playing the way we all expect him to, and the puck is going in the net because he has been creating the chances for it. Hopefully, he can continue his strong play in this final game of the west coast road trip and bring it back to Philly when it’s all said and done.

Projected Lineup

James van Riemsdyk — Scott Laughton — Cam Atkinson

Max Willman — Kevin Hayes — Joel Farabee

Oskar Lindblom — Morgan Frost — Travis Konecny

Gerry Mayhew — Patrick Brown — Zack MacEwen

Cam York — Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim — Rasmus Ristolainen

Keith Yandle — Kevin Connauton

Martin Jones

(Carter Hart)

This game should be a fun one, folks. I’m as bummed about not getting to see Zegras in action as everybody, but the Ducks are an entertaining team to watch now.

That’s all from me, everybody! Go Flyers!

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