clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Preview: Flyers hoping for some luck in Vegas

This team might not have that much fun in Sin City.

Vegas Golden Knights v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers are visiting Las Vegas, but not for the fun reasons. They face a Vegas Golden Knights team that is missing some key players, but could still realistically provide a nice little beatdown on the not-so-good Flyers.

We’re talking about a Vegas team that (sadly) has re-discovered their ability to win games after not making the playoffs for the first time in the team’s existence last season. They’re soaring high at the top of their division and getting loads of help all throughout their lineup. They have a total of six skaters with 20 or more points this season, already; and comparatively, the Flyers have just two that have hit that milestone. This is a team that they want to be built to taste that same success they had in their inaugural season.

And now, they’re hosting a Flyers team that is anything but that. Just desperate for any semblance of consistency, Philadelphia is starting this four-game road trip with a doozy of a challenge. Hell, outside of the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday, they have to face the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils in addition to this stupid Vegas team. Maybe this is the week where things get set in motion and for management to accept what this team is: bad!

Projected Flyers lineup

Kevin Hayes — Noah Cates — Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton — Lukas Sedlak — Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk — Morgan Frost — Owen Tippett
Nic Deslauriers — Patrick Brown — Zack MacEwen

Ivan Provorov — Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim — Justin Braun
Cam York??? — Tony DeAngelo

Carter Hart will most likely be starting this game in Vegas, unless there is a catastrophe.

Look at these boys! There is some hope sprinkled throughout this lineup. James van Riemsdyk returned last time out and managed to have two whole shots on goal (wow!). Besides the crater that is the center position for the Flyers, there is nothing at all wrong when you look at the wingers for this team. Some skill up top, some more hard-nosed players as you go further down, and then some scoring depth. It can work, if they just played better, and that is obviously so simple to do.

On the blue line, the main story coming into tonight’s game is Cam York potentially coming back and making his season debut for the Flyers. His versatility and mobility on the back end has been severely lacking all season long, so maybe this can provide a jump in the offensive side of the puck and starting plays. We don’t actually know the exact pairings for York’s inclusion, but we just assume that Nick Seeler will be the odd man out.

Projected Golden Knights lineup

Paul Cotter — Chandler Stephenson — Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault — William Karlsson - Reilly Smith
Jonas Rondbjerg — Jake Leschyshyn — Phil Kessel
Will Carrier — Nicolas Roy — Keegan Kolesar

Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore
Alec Martinez — Zach Whitecloud
Nic Hague — Daniil Miromanov

Logan Thompson has been doing a hell of a job for Vegas so far this season, so he will get the pleasure of facing the Flyers offense tonight.

Woof. Without Jack Eichel anchoring the top line and the team annexing Max Pacioretty last summer, the Knights’ offensive depth is bad. We like to think that we are knowledgeable about the goings-on of the NHL and have at least some pulse on the league and its players. But honestly, you cannot tell me you have heard of Paul Cotter before we just listed his name in the lineup. This isn’t even a clever joke where you list a name, someone pretends that they know who that is, and then you unveil that it is actually a completely fake name you wrote down. This is a real dude apparently, and he’s on their top line!

Outside of the forward lineup, there’s some more familiar names on the blue line. Without Alex Pietrangelo, the offensive capability of these guys might be limited, but we all know that Shea Theodore can work his magic and blow up opposing defenses if he feels like it.

Puck drop is at 10:00 p.m. tonight, so don’t feel bad if you don’t want to use your Friday night to watch the 2022-23 Philadelphia Flyers play hockey. You can do countless more fun things instead. Find a new hobby, just aimlessly walk around your town, watch literally anything else — we’ll let you know how the game goes.

Two Thoughts

The Flyers could actually have the advantage in depth

We might be going off of recent results, but the massive reason why the Flyers were able to miraculously defeat the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche is the same reason they could realistically win tonight. The opponent is missing some key players, and is not deep enough to compete with a Flyers top-nine that has scorers on every single line. Any of the three lines could lead the team offensively (when this team can actually score goals), so if all they have to do is get around Jonas Rondbjerg(???) to get some offense rolling, they might just be able to.

Philadelphia can win the special teams battle

With the addition of Cam York, all eyes will be on the power play. If the 21-year-old blueliner get some time on the top unit (like he should) then the special teams can breathe some new life and they might actually score some goals.

And you know who has a terrible penalty kill? The Vegas Golden Knights. When it comes to shot attempts against while shorthanded, the Knights have the third-most — only the Flyers and Montreal Canadiens have it worse. Maybe if some personnel changes happen and that rejuvenation occurs, we’ll see the special teams go in favor for the visitors; they just can’t take any penalties themselves.