Preview: Rendezvous with the Devils

The Flyers face the playoff-bound New Jersey Devils for the final time this season.

Hey there. How we doin’, fam? It’s the last Flyers game of February, and second to last before the trade deadline. Travis Konecny is injured. You may be wondering, “Why do I care about this team? All they do is dumb things and break my heart,” and you’d be right. It’s been a tough season and there’s still a month and a half to go, and now they have to wrap up February against the stupid New Jersey Devils—a division rival that is actually fun and exciting and has run laps around the Flyers in putting together a talented core. I hear you; I see you. At the very least, we’re all in this together.

This might be the last game we see the current Flyers roster, too. With the trade deadline a few days away, it’s likely that James van Riemsdyk’s time in a Flyer sweater (for the second time) is drawing to a close. The same could be said for any of Justin Braun, Patrick Brown, and even Nick Seeler. It will be sad (ish?) to say farewell to some of these stalwarts, but with every ending is an opportunity: Bobby Brink has been tearing it up in the AHL since returning from injury, and it’s high time players like Tyson Foerster and Ronnie Attard got looks at the NHL level. Even more exciting? Cutter Gauthier might turn pro at the end of his college season, if he sticks to his one-and-done plan after being drafted, and hockey gods know we could use something to look forward to.

Anyway, the Devils have been really good: Jack Hughes is a budding superstar, Dougie Hamilton has been exceptional on the blue line, and there’s an outside chance Timo Meier joins the forward core. There’s not much else to say: shutting down that offense will the the Flyers’ priority, which they showed they could do for five periods against the Edmonton Oilers—it’s just a question of doing it again.

Puck drops at 7 p.m. as the Flyers try to rebound from a 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens last night. The Flyers are 3-6-1 in their last ten, and their schedule isn’t getting any easier.

Players to Watch

Joel Farabee

There was some drama earlier this week surrounding the Beez and him being displeased. A trade—especially at the deadline—seems unlikely, as Farabee is a player one would expect uses this offseason to actually train and improve his fitness after spending all of last summer on injury recovery. Today is also his birthday, so scoring a goal would be a great gift.

Morgan Frost

The Flyers were not good against the Canadiens, but Morgan Frost had a hand in both of the Flyers goals. We’ll see if that momentum continues today. These points are important for Frost, as he’s on a one year deal right now and his performance down the stretch could have an impact on his contract negotiations over the summer.

Elliot Desnoyers

The Destroyer has arrived. Desnoyers is set to make his NHL debut against the Devils tonight, so that’s at least some reason to watch; the 2020 fifth-round pick leads the Phantoms with 19 goals and 36 points. Desnoyers has been due a call up to see what he can do on the big stage. With the trade deadline approaching, it’s likely that more prospects on the Phantoms crack the Flyers roster as pending UFA players are traded off.