Gameday vs Vancouver: Something Has Got to Give
Philadelphia Flyers (1-5-0) at Vancouver Canucks (3-3-0)
Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia, Pa.
7:00 p.m. on CSN and 97.5 FM The Fanatic
Setting the Stage - The Flyers
There is no denying that the Flyers cannot score. With just eight goals in six games it's a surprise they haven't been shutout yet.
Scoring is led by Brayden Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier with three points, but the latter is still out with a lower body injury. Sophomore Tye McGinn and rookie Michael Raffl looked good in their season debuts against the Red Wings on Saturday, replacing the injured Scott Hartnell and Lecavalier.
Claude Giroux finally notched his first point of the season in that loss to Detroit. Jakub Voracek has just two points on the season as well. Kimmo Timonen has been held without a point in the first six games.
What to Expect - The Opponent
Vancouver is an interesting team. It's loaded with offensive talent but the defense has been struggling, including that embarrassing own goal on Luongo over the weekend.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin each have seven points and are among the league leaders in scoring. Jason Garrison has two goals and four assists to lead defensemen despite boasting a minus-3 rating.
Of the six Canucks defensemen who have played, only two - Ryan Stanton and Kris Tanev - don't have a negative plus/minus rating.
The Masked Men - Project Starters
Philadelphia: Steve Mason (1-3-0, .935 sv%, 2.03 GAA)
It's been pretty clear that Mason has been the better goaltender to start this season. In fact, Mason has played so well that he is actually one of the lone bright spots the Flyers have shown through the first six games.
Vancouver: Roberto Luongo (2-3-0, .898 sv%, 2.99 GAA)
Vancouver has made it clear that Luongo is its guy by trading Corey Schneider instead of the 34-year-old netminder. Luongo has made five starts and has struggled a bit in his games, mostly due to a lack of defense in front of him. He's seen an average of 33 shots per game. The Flyers have been getting pressure on goalies their last two games, and if the Canucks defense doens't hold up Luongo may have another bad start.
Keys to the Game
1. Top Line - The Flyers' top line had an unlikely linemate in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Detroit in Tye McGinn. But despite McGinn making his season debut he helped make the unit better overall. McGinn scored and both Giroux and Voracek notched their first and second assists of the season respectively. The challenge now will be to continue that strong play.
2. Mason - If it weren't for Mason's play the Flyers would be winless. He's back in net tonight and another good effort from him along with the offense waking up will lead to the Flyers' second win of the season.
3. Sedin Twins - They're good, this is no surprise. Neutralizing the Wonder Twins will be key because the Flyers haven't proved yet this season that they can play a high-scoring game.
“It’s awesome – he’s a great player, especially with Voracek there on the right. You got to just find your way to the net and get your stick down and good things will happen.” - LW Tye McGinn on playing on the top line.