The Flyers are back! Fresh off a nice little win over the Capitals on Saturday, they’re back at it again looking to kick start a winning streak tonight. They’ll have to make it through the Oilers to do it, and they’ll have their work cut out for them. The Oilers are missing some pieces (they’ll be without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and rolling with 11 forwards tonight), but they’re still a team that can do some damage (they did take down the Panthers just last weekend).
But hey, the Flyers did beat the Oilers 5-3 the last time we saw them way back in October, so it can be done. The Flyers are in a very different spot now than they were then, but it can still be done! We’ll see how this goes.
Players to watch
Atkinson has been fighting through a bit of a dry spell here, but he did some really great work on Saturday to snap that and chip in a bit more production. He set up Claude Giroux for the first goal of the game, and then picked up the game winner himself late in the first period. His line with Giroux and the newly returned Joel Farabee looked solid, and that certainly is a line with a lot of potential. If Atkinson can get going again more consistently that will be a real asset as the team looks to start stringing together more wins, and tonight will be a nice test to see how well he can continue to pick up momentum.
After a strong showing against the Capitals on Saturday, Hart’s getting the nod again tonight, and it’s not likely to be an easy night for him. He’ll have two of the top goal scorers in the league in Connor McDavid (28 goals) and Leon Draisaitl (36 goals) to deal with, and the same shaky defense in front of him, so the Flyers are going to need him to be on for this one. He’s delivered excellent games time and again this season, so we’re not coming into this one with a ton of goalie related anxiety (what a nice feeling that is), but the understanding is still that this one likely isn’t going to be a cakewalk.
Two big questions
Can the Flyers keep this rolling?
The Flyers picked up a big win against the Capitals on Saturday, ending their losing streak at six games, but now they have another big task ahead of them, in taking the good work they’ve been doing and good habits they’ve been trying to re-instill and continuing it into this next game. The Flyers have really struggled in the building momentum department this season, but there has been a feeling recently that they’re at least moving towards turning a corner. That doesn’t exactly read like a ringing endorsement of the state of things, but everything’s moving in baby steps around here right now, and the Flyers, at the very least, have the chance to take another one forward tonight.
Can they contain Connor McDavid?
This really always is the question, huh? There are few players in the league that can absolutely take over a game for their team and quickly make you look very, very silly, and McDavid is probably at the top of that list right now. We’ve seen the Flyers actually match up well against him in the past (looking at you, Scott Laughton), but with how things are going this season, that feels like a less sure bet at present. They’ll have their work cut out for them here, but it’s been done before! Perhaps it can be done again.
We’re trying out optimism here. Surely this will go well for us.
Puck drops at 7:00 tonight, and you can check out the Flyers’ projected lineup below.