Well, it appears that the Flyers of yester-year are back. After an unprecedented strong start to the season, the orange and black have lost nine in a row and have the chance against the 14-8-0 New York Islanders to reach a double digit losing streak for the first time in 2022-23.
With a 7-9-5 record now, the Flyers have fallen all the way down to seventh place in the very competitive Metropolitan Division, only ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are four points behind them with one fewer game played. This will be the first game of a home and home series to close out the month of November.
How to Watch
Puck Drop: 7:30 pm ET
Location: UBS Arena
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Who and What to Watch
For the Islanders, it’s the usual smooth-skating subject, Mathew Barzal, that is my player to watch for this game. Despite only having scored two goals (with both of them coming in the same game against the Dallas Stars_on November 19th), he has helped lead the Islanders to their current record and three game win streak. He sits with 25 points in 22 games and 11 power play points.
Barzal is currently on a seven game point streak and is the conductor of the offense for the team. On defense, the Islanders are high in leaderboard in terms of the amount of goals they have allowed, but they sit very low in the expected goals against per 60 (xGA/60) leaderboard, only ahead of the Anaheim Ducks. The reason for the disparity in these two numbers? Ilya Sorokin, who the Flyers luckily won’t have to face.
Sorokin is the only goalie ahead of Carter Hart in the goals saved above expected (GSAx) rankings. Both should be in contention for the Vezina at this point, especially when you’re making saves like this to win games.
For the Flyers over the last five admittedly rough games, Kevin Hayes has led the charge offensively with five points, and he leads the team in points with 20 in 21 games. However, it’s Travis Konecny that has arguably the more impressive statline with over a point per game (19 points in 17 games).
For forward Kieffer Bellows, this will be the first game against his old team after being placed on waivers and claimed by Philadelphia. Despite not having a point in 10 games, Bellows will sure want to make his former club feel like they made a mistake for letting the former first round pick go with no return.
If the Flyers continue to play the way the have in most of the recent games, no one will be shocked to see this streak hit double digits. The Flyers of last season were horrendous to watch as we all know, and despite John Tortorella giving the players a thorough kick in the behind, the lack of talent is beginning to shine through. The best we can hope for is a win, and then they move from there.