Oh, the little precious darkhorse New Jersey Devils are the Philadelphia Flyers’ opponent tonight. The reigning four-time NHL Offseason Champions are hosting the Flyers in what looks to be the first season where they finally figured it all out. Took them long enough!
Flyers at Devils
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Prudential Center
TV: MSGSN, NBCSP
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
The Devils are currently hanging out at the top of the division with a 21-6-2 record and are just three points below the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the entire league standings. But, there is still this little sparkle of hope in everyone that doesn’t live in New Jersey’s eye that this team is still not Real. You’re meaning to tell me that the Devils are one of the best teams in the league right now? This isn’t the damn 1990s and Jacque Lemaire doesn’t coach anymore — sounds fake.
And maybe the Flyers know that is the reality, because in their previous two matches this season they came away looking not so terrible against the “top team.” In the season opener, the Flyers ended up winning 5-2 thanks to Morgan Frost and Travis Konecny scoring two goals each. And then, in their more recent matchup they lost a respectable 3-2 and had a massive advantage in shots on goal and all those underlying numbers.
So, now we come to the finale of the early-season trilogy between these two clubs and the Devils are hosting the Flyers having lost their last three games. Maybe this is the start of where they slip and fall and tumble down the standings. Losing to this Philadelphia Flyers team might just do exactly that.
Projected Flyers lineup
Kevin Hayes — Noah Cates — Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk — Morgan Frost — Owen Tippett
Lukas Sedlak — Scott Laughton — Joel Farabee
Nic Deslauriers — Patrick Brown — Max Willman
Ivan Provorov — Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim — Cam York
Nick Seeler — Justin Braun
Carter Hart is most certainly going to be starting for the Flyers after Felix Sandstrom was given the crease in Colorado.
That sure is a lineup. Not a whole lot has changed as the season has gone on, so there’s not a lot of ink to spill about what we expect from these pairings of dudes. The top line will carry most of the offensive burden with Noah Cates displaying some under-the-radar defensive plays; James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Frost seemed to have hit it off; and Joel Farabee will keep on chipping in no matter who he plays with.
On the blue line, after Cam York scored his first goal of the season against the Avalanche, it would be cool for him to get some more production next to Travis Sanheim. There is no definitive timeline on Tony DeAngelo’s return to action after dealing with a personal issue, but we will get more information closer to puck drop if he is back.
Projected Devils lineup
Tomas Tatar — Nico Hischier — Jesper Bratt
Erik Haula — Jack Hughes — Dawson Mercer
Miles Wood — Michael McLeod — Yegor Sharangovich
Fabian Zetterlund — Jesper Boqvist — Andreas Johnsson
Jonas Siegenthaler — Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves — John Marino
Kevin Bahl — Damon Severson
Vitek Vanecek is most likely going to be the Devils starter tonight.
The Devils have essentially built the lineup of someone fiddling around with Be a GM mode on any NHL game. Throughout all four forward lines, there is someone who can put the puck in the net and just glancing at that fourth line, you would think it would be depended on as a scoring third or even a second line on a bad team. They have a lot of depth and some top-tier talent up front, so maybe that’s why things finally started to work for them.
Dougie Hamilton can do no wrong (except signing in New Jersey) and the entire Devils blue line — similar to the forward lineup — has one offensively-gifted defenseman and one that wants to focus more on defending and staying back, giving the other one more space on the ice. We guess that this is just how it works now and it is working for them.
Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.
The power play is going to need to be productive, eventually
In the last two games against the Devils, the Flyers managed to score one goal on the power play each time. But, as of right now, Philadelphia’s man advantage is creeping into dogshit territory.
Since Nov. 1, the Flyers have scored just eight power play goals. That puts them dead last in the entire NHL during that timespan. And it’s not like they’re just facing some unreal goaltending either, since only the Seattle Kraken have less shots on goal. All of it kind of just stinks, so maybe tonight they can at least score one?
Can Frost bounce back?
After his four-point performance against the Arizona Coyotes, there was nothing really to write home about Frost’s night in Colorado. A minus-2 rating, one single shot on goal and went 6-for-14 in faceoffs, all in 16:36 TOI. Just a bland 2022 Flyers-ass game. So maybe he can hop on the back of van Riemsdyk putting in the work as of late and get some production going.