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Preview: Can the Flyers go for five against the dominant Toronto Maple Leafs?

The Flyers welcome the 24-9-7 Leafs to the Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia Flyers v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

After a ten game losing streak this season, it feels weird for the Flyers to have four wins in a row. Those wins came against fellow bottom-feeding teams (except the win against the Kings, somehow), but wins are fun all the same. Unfortunately, that fun may be at an end: the Toronto Maple Leafs are second in the Atlantic Division, and despite some questionable losses (twice to the Arizona Coyotes, shockingly), they are one of the most dominant teams in the NHL right now. This game, however, is the second of a back-to-back for the Leafs, so maybe they’re just tired enough after beating the Detroit Red Wings that the Flyers can sneak a win.

For those of you that will be in attendance, the Flyers organization will be honoring Ed Snider’s legacy during the game, with a lot of focus on his Youth Hockey & Education program. It’s also worth noting that the Flyers have released a travel advisory as the Eagles are playing the same evening, so if you are going it’s advisable to take public transit or park early.

Players to Watch

Travis Konecny

In the team’s win over the Coyotes, TK extended his goal streak to five games and his point streak to seven. He’s on pace to score nearly 50 goals over an 82 game season, and he’s doing most of this with rookie Noah Cates as his center, which is wild. While Kevin Hayes has been selected to represent the Flyers at the All-Star game, a case could be made to send TK through fan voting. Whether TK’s production is a result of, “Well, somebody has to score the goals,” or him demonstrating he can be a high-end impact player, remains to be seen—but boy, it sure is fun in the meantime, huh?

Morgan Frost

Frost’s new year’s resolution is probably to play the Coyotes every night. In the two times the Flyers have matched up against them, Frost has a total of eight points—which contrasts with the 11 he’s scored in his other 36 games this season. Still, Frost has been playing with confidence in the new year, and his playmaking attempts have not gone unnoticed. Having skilled linemates in JVR and Owen Tippett helps, too, as those are players who can finish on the chances Frost creates. If he can become a 40-point player, then Frost could have a home on this team through a rebuild.

Wade Allison

Allison’s goal against the Coyotes was his first since returning from injury, and it sure was a classic Wade Allison goal that saw him clean up his own rebound before careening into the boards. He’s a player with a lot of potential if the coaches can rein in his more self-destructive playing tendencies—plus, he’s a lot of fun to watch. Every time the camera pans to him on the bench, he’s yapping away at his teammates with a big smile on his face. The Flyers need those kinds of vibes.

Auston Matthews

The star forward for the Leafs has had a quiet 2022-23 compared to his back-to-back Rocket Richard winning seasons, with only 19 goals (one behind our very own TK) and 45 points. Still, he’s one of the more dominant players in the league, and you can bet that he’ll try to take full advantage of a comparatively weak Flyers team to rack up some points. The Leafs might also be looking to leave a mark after the Flyers nearly completed the comeback during their Next Gen night before Christmas.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center.