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Preview: Flyers in Ottawa for first game of Giroux-less era

It will be so weird.

Ottawa Senators v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Claude Giroux is still technically a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, but after the team gave the Nashville Predators a nervous 5-4 trouncing as we celebrated the captain’s 1,000th game, it was reported that he will not be flying with the team up north to face the Ottawa Senators.

It is certainly protection over a potential injury ruining their entire trade deadline, as they will most likely be selling off one of the greatest players in club history in hopes to earn Giroux a Stanley Cup and get some picks and/or prospects for doing so. But I would like to imagine that they are doing so to keep the number of games played for the Flyers at a pleasingly 1,000. Ah, a full number; a whole number; one that you can look at any other statistic and determine what he did on a per game basis. We love it, folks.

As powerful and emotional last night was, the team will need to turn it around in less than 24 hours and face an Ottawa team that, frankly, is kind of ass right now. At the beginning of the season they had hope, with their shiny new prospects making the roster full-time and Brady Tkachuk as their captain. But now, they have lost eight of their last 10 games, and one of those rare wins came via overtime against fellow bottom-dweller, the Seattle Kraken. They’re not in any sort of good shape, and this is before they make any potential trades before puck drop.

On our more preferred side of the ice, the Flyers were actually able to show some talent and skill against the Predators at home. We saw goals come from all angles — Travis Sanheim and Cam York notching the team’s first two goals of the match from the back; James van Riemsdyk earned his 14th goal of the season; and fresh off the IR, Kevin Hayes scored the late equalizing goal with Joel Farabee clinching the win with just over a minute remaining. Pretty wild to have a Flyers team this year actually be fun and entertaining. I guess that’s what they do for Giroux, so you have to wonder what they’ll do with him not even in the same city.

Maybe the fact that the Senators really suck will help us get over any potential incoming Giroux trade. So we can shout from the Philadelphian mountains “hey, look, this team is all right and they can score some cool goals,” or they will somehow lose and we will have to be happy because of tanking.

Projected (made-up) Flyers lines:

Farabee - Hayes - Mayhew
van Riemsdyk - Brassard - Atkinson
Lindblom - Frost - Konecny
Willman - Brown - MacEwen

Provorov - York
Sanheim - Ristolainen
Yandle - Braun

Martin Jones is probably going to be the starter in Ottawa.

Projected Senators lines:

Tkachuk - Norris - White
Formenton - Paul - Brown
Ennis - Tierney - Gaudette
Sanford - Gambrell - Watson

Brannstrom - Zub
Holden - Zaitsev
Mete - Brown

Anton Forsberg is starting.

We better get used to not seeing no. 28 on the ice anymore.