Better With Popcorn

Gameday vs Florida: Berube Makes Coaching Debut

The Matchup

Philadelphia Flyers (0-3-0) vs Florida Panthers (1-1-0)
Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia, Pa.
7:00 p.m. on CSN and 97.5 FM The Fanatic

Setting the Stage

Three games in and the Flyers fired head coach Peter Laviolette and gave Craig Berube a multi-year deal. When a change like that is made just three games into the season you have to wonder what really is wrong with the Flyers.

With a new coach behind the bench it'll be interesting to see what happens tonight as they host a Panthers team that lost 7-0 to the Blues on Saturday.

What to Expect

Players like Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek need to step up in a big way, especially the first two who wear letters on their jerseys. The Flyers have just three goals in their first three games.

Florida is led in scoring by Marcel Goc with two goals and Brian Campbell with two assists. Aleksander Barkov, selected with the second overall pick this past draft, is a Calder Trophy contender and has a goal in the first two games.

The Masked Men

Philadelphia - The Flyers will roll with Steve Mason to make his third start of the season. Mason looked a lot better on Sunday, stopping 32-of-34 in a 2-1 loss to Carolina. It looks like the Flyers are leaning early in Mason's favor, which is expected. 

Florida - Tim Thomas, the controversial goalie who came back to the NHL this season and signed with the Panthers, will be in net tonight. Thomas was lit up against St. Louis for five goals in two periods.

Keys to the Game

1. Win For Chief - Nothing solves a crisis like coming together and winning for the new guy and sticking it in the face of adversity! Unfortunately there are no happy endings in Philadelphia. That being said, a win would be huge for the start of the Berube era as well as the Flyers' season.

2. Find the Net - It's simple: The Flyers can't win if they can't score. Giroux, Hartnell, Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Max Talbot and Matt Read have yet to register a single point. That's seven of the top nine forwards. That's a problem.

3. Powerplay - The powerplay has been awful - just 2-for-14 in the first three games. It's an unacceptable start for a unit that's normally in the top five in the league.

Quotable

"I believe that we need to play better without the puck. When you play good hockey without the puck, the team comes together and you do the right things to get the puck back and you keep the puck out of your net. Right now we need to stress that and do a better job of it. We need to take pride in it." -- New head coach Craig Berube on playing team defense.

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