Weekly Flyers Preview: Mar. 24-30
The Flyers look to keep on rolling against more tough opponents this week.
Monday, March 24, 2014 vs. Los Angeles Kings (40-25-6, 86 points, 3rd Pacific) 7:00, CSN
The Kings have been playing well, winning nine of twelve games sine the Olympic break.
Los Angeles doesn't score much, as they rank 27th in goals per game with 2.35 goals per game. Jeff Carter leads the club with 24 goals, while Anze Kopitar leads in points (58, 22 goals). The Kings have five others in double figures: Justin Williams (17), Dustin Brown (13), Dwight King (12), Tyler Toffoli (11) and Mike Richards (10). Defenseman Drew Doughty has eight goals. In eight games since joining the Kings, Marian Gaborik has two goals, four points.
The Kings excel in their own end. They rank first in goals allowed per game, only yielding 2.04 goals per game. Jonathan Quick has been stellar, with a 23-15-2 record, allowing 2.01 goals per game, while saving 91.7% of shots faced. He'll likely be a Vezina finalist at the end of the season.
With a low scoring offense, it is not surprising that the Kings have struggled on the power play as well. The 25th ranked power play only scores 15.1% of the time. Kopitar has nine power play goals, while Carter has seven. The Kings are eleventh in penalty killing at 83.3%.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 @ New York Rangers (39-29-4, 82 points, 3rd Metropolitan) 8:00, NBCSN
New York is on a three game win streak and has won six of nine.
Like the Kings, the Rangers aren't prolific scorers. They rank 19th, scoring 2.58 goals per game. However, they have spread out scoring, with nine players scoring double digit goals. Rick Nash has 23 goals to lead New York, while linemates Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan have 17 and 15, respectively.
Carl Hagelin has scored 17 goals, while Brad Richards and Derrick Brassard have 16 each. Benoit Pouliot and Ryan McDonagh have twelve goals each, while Mats Zuccarello has 15. In ten games since joining the Rangers, Martin St. Louis has just three assists.
The Rangers are sixth in team defense, allowing 2.40 goals per game. Henrik Lundqvist has won 28 games, with a 2.42 goals against average and a 91.9 save percentage.
New York's power play is twelfth at 18.9%. Brassard and Pouliot lead the Rangers with six power play goals and Stepan has five. The Rangers have a good penalty kill, killing 84.6% of penalties, which ranks as sixth best.
Friday, March 28, 2014 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (36-29-8, 80 points, 5th Atlantic)
The Leafs have struggled as of late, losing five in a row.
Toronto averages 2.80 goals per game, which ranks tenth. The Leafs' top line of Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak has combined for 70 goals. Joffrey Lupul has hit the 20 goal mark while Mason Raymond (19) and Nazem Kadri (18) are knocking on the door.
The Leafs have struggled preventing opponents to score, allowing 3.04 goals per game (26th). That is not the fault of Jonathan Bernier, however, who is 25-16-7 this season. Bernier has a goals against average of 2.61 and a save percentage of .925. He is day-to-day with a groin injury, so it could end up being James Reimer (11-13-1, 3.39, .908) in net Friday.
Toronto has the third best power play, capitalizing on 20.5% of man advantages. Kessel and van Riemsdyk have combined for 17 power play goals. On the flip side, the Maple Leafs have the third worst penalty killing, only killing off 78.7% of opponents' man advantage.
Sunday, March 30, 2014 vs. Boston Bruins (49-17-5, 103 points, 1st Atlantic) 12:30, NBC
Boston has been red hot, winning twelve games in a row. Since the Olympics, they have collected 25 of 28 points.
They are second in scoring, averaging 3.20 goals per game. Boston has four playera with 20 or more goals: Jarome Iginla (28), Patrice Bergeron (22), Brad Marchand (22) and Milan Lucic (21). Five others have at least ten, including Reilly Smith (19), Zdeno Chara (16), Torrey Krug (14) and Carl Soderberg (13). David Krejci has 16 goals to give him a team leading 60 points.
Boston is also stellar in their end as well, ranking second with 2.08 goals allowed per game. Tuukka Rask could win the the Vezina Trophy this season, posting a 32-19-4 record while allowing only 2.07 goals per game. He has also saved 92.9% of shots faced.
The Bruins' sixth ranked power play scores on 20.4% of man advantages, with Zdeno Chara scoring nine power play goals. Krug (six), Bergeron and Smith (five each) have been chipping in as well. If the Bruins were to have a "weak" spot, it could be penalty killing. They rank ninth, killing 83.7% of penalties.
Weekly Expectations: 6 points
Since Nov 18, Dan has predicted Flyers points
Realdeal: 61 points
Flyers: 66 points