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Flyers to face off against Senators in Claude Giroux’s homecoming

Feeling emotional yet?

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Philadelphia Flyers v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andrea Cardin/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s finally here, folks! the day has arrived. For the first time since he was traded away to the Panthers at last year’s trade deadline, Claude Giroux is coming home. It’s bound to be an emotional day, with tributes abound, and we’re not sure if we’re even prepared for it, even still. We’ll see how the day goes.

On the hockey side, this is a meeting of teams who are not having a great time right now. The Flyers are struggling to put together wins consistently, and their last game was a big mess, and they dropped Thursday’s matchup against the Blue Jackets 5-2 and managed to wipe out half of their defense (it’s a shorter term situation for Erik Gudbranson, but Nick Blankenburg’s out for 4-6 weeks with a broken ankle and Zach Werenski’s done for the season after separating his shoulder in that game). It’s all a big yikes.

On the flip side, the Senators lost their game on Thursday in overtime to the Devils, marking their seventh loss in a row and holding them firmly at last place in the Atlantic. Also a big yikes.

Players to watch

Claude Giroux

I mean, of course. It’s his first game back in Philly, so we’re going to have our eyes peeled to see what he’s going to do. But there’s also the fact that he already got a bit of revenge—if you want to call it that—on his old team in the first meeting back in Ottawa, scoring on them on his second shift of the game. There looked to be a bit of extra motivation going to really show up against his old team, and it’s easy to see that carrying over into this first game back in Philly. We hope that does play out, in all honesty. Let’s see him do something cool.

Wade Allison

He wasn’t able to get on the board in Thursday’s game, but it did seem a good one overall for Allison. He’s simplifying his game a bit, focusing more on playing straightforward and more North-South, which has been the coaching staff’s big ask, and it’s starting to pay off. He’s getting looks, but the results haven’t started coming in droves for him, but the feeling is that if he keeps trending this way, things are going to start breaking for him soon. Will today be the day? Tune in to find out.

Two big questions

Will the Flyers clean things up?

Thursday’s game against the Blue Jackets is likely one that the Flyers are going to want to quickly forget about, with some of the bad breakdowns that plagued them therein. Despite some positive flashes, they shot themselves in the foot time and again with ugly turnovers that ended up in the back of their net. And this feels like, in theory, it should be a relatively easy fix to bring into this game, but will that really be the case? We’re not expecting a perfect game from the Flyers here, but we’re hoping to see them limit those types of catastrophic mistakes, and to keep things from spiraling badly out of control. It’s another chance for them to put this new resilience they keep talking about to the test.

Vibe check?

As we mentioned in our introduction, today is a meeting of two not very good teams, and we can see things getting weird and messy and swinging to either extreme of the scoring spectrum. Are questionable defenses going to do them in and open up scoring for everybody? Or is the lack of a ton of dynamic talent up front going to prevent them from putting together much in the way of scoring chances. The last time these two teams played, we ended up getting the latter, but swinging back around to the former does very much still feel like it’s in play. We’ll see how this one shakes out.

Puck drops at 1:00 today, and you can check out the Flyers’ projected lineup below.