Better With Popcorn

Weekly Flyers Preview: Dec. 2-8

The Flyers continue their six game road trip this week, which began with a shootout win over Nashville.

They travel to Minnesota tonight without Vincent Lecavalier. They then head to Detroit on Wednesday and Dallas on Saturday.

Monday, December 2, 2013 @ Minnesota Wild (15-8-5, 35 points, 4th Central)

Coming off four straight losses (0-3-1, Minnesota hosts the Flyers Monday night.  Minnesota has been a very good team at Xcel Energy Center, going 10-3-2 this season. That is in large part due to their defense, as they only allow 1.87 goals per game at home. Goalie Josh Harding (13-4-3, 1.52 goals against average, .936 save percentage) has been fantastic, but lost twice over the weekend.

The Wild are 23rd in the league in scoring (2.32 goals per game), but score more (2.6 gpg) on home ice. Jason Pominville leads the way with 13, while Zach Parise has scored 11 himself.

Veteran Dany Heatley has helped Minnesota's 8th ranked power play (20.6%), with three goals on the man advantage. On the flipside, the Wild penalty kill hasn't been great, only killing off 78.5% (25th).

Minnesota's opponents have averaged 25 shots per game, second lowest in the league, which is a reason the Wild have a low goals against number. Expect this game to be a low scoring affair.

Ray Emery is in net tonight.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 @ Detroit Red Wings (14-7-7, 35 points, 2nd Atlantic)

The Red Wings have motored on lately, winning four in a row and five of six.  However, the team has struggled at Joe Louis Arena this season, only winning five games in 15.

They are led by the ageless Henrik Zetterberg (11 goals, 30 points) and Pavel Datsyuk (12 goals, 23 points). This season, they have been joined by Daniel Alfredsson, who has fit right in and scored seven goals.

American Olympic hopeful goalie Jimmy Howard has been solid this season, posting a 2.57 GAA and a .913 save percentage to go along with a 6-7-6 record.

Detroit’s special teams are still great. Their power play is ranked seventh (21.4%) and is even better at home (25%). In addition, their 86.9% penalty killing is third in the league.

Saturday, December 7, 2013 @ Dallas Stars (12-9-4, 28 points, 6th Central)

Dallas is coming off a November where they went 7-3-2 before a shootout loss to Edmonton on Sunday. They are looking for some home cooking, as they have only played six home games since October 26th.

The Stars are led by Tyler Seguin, who has 12 goals. Jamie Benn and Alex Chiasson also have seven goals apiece. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen (10-5-4, 2.18 GAA, .928) is having a fantastic, yet quiet, season.

Despite the 13th ranked offense (2.68 goals per game), Dallas has the worst power play in the league (10.5%) and their home power play is even worse at 2.7%. However, Dallas’ penalty killing has been great at American Airlines Center, killing off 87.1% of man advantages.

Expect many shots on goal in this game as Dallas averages the seventh-most per game (31.6) and allows 31.9, eighth-most.

Weekly Expectation: 4 out of 6 points.
Since Nov. 18 Dan has been predicting Flyers points.
Realdeal: 12
Flyers: 10
Dan MacNeal

Staff Writer
Twitter: @Realdeal411@TCLFlyers