Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

Flyers Look for Afternoon Delight This Weekend

So far this season, the Flyers have struggled mightily while playing during the day.

The team’s 3-8-1 record in afternoon games is proof enough of that.

Looking lethargic at times, the team’s lack of jump in day time hockey has resulted in sloppy play, which has allowed their opponents to outscore them 49-33 in those kinds of games.

Obviously, this is a trend that needs to be eliminated in the near future.

Luckily, the team has two golden opportunities this weekend.

The Flyers will take on two conference rivals – one who has struggled as of late and another who is red hot – and with the postseason just twelve games away, getting every point that they possibly can is more imperative than ever.

First, the Flyers will face the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.

Thanks to a win by the Ottawa Senators on Friday night, the Bruins are now out of first place in the Northeast Division, due in big part to their dismal 3-7-0 record over their last ten games.

A far cry from the team they were just two months ago, the Bruins have now lost four straight, and with Ottawa's win, they've dropped from 2nd to 7th place in the Eastern Conference.

Boston leads the Flyers 2-1 in the season series, and has outscored them 13-7 in those games.

In their last matchup, the Bruins beat Philadelphia 6-5 in a shootout.

It marked the second time this season that Boston had scored five or more goals against the Flyers.

There has been a role reversal between the two teams since that game, though.

At that time, the Flyers had been struggling with inconsistency issues on the back end and in net.

Now, the team is on an impressive 8-2-0 run and have improved in all areas – especially in net.

Ilya Bryzgalov set a franchise record for longest shutout streak on Thursday night, and has been spectacular over the last month. His goaltending can take the majority of credit for the team’s recent dominance.

Meanwhile, the Bruins, who were once one of the hottest teams in the league for a long stretch of time, have tapered off.

They’ve been outscored by their opponents 37-25 in their last ten games and though they’re still scoring goals, their defense and goaltending have deteriorated.

Due to a lower-abdomen/groin injury to backup goaltender Tuukka Rask, the Bruins acquired Marty Turco on March 5th. In two appearances with the team, he’s given up six goals.

The Bruins will more than likely start Tim Thomas in net against the Flyers on Saturday. Thomas has a 2-1 record against the Flyers this season, and is 12-3-2 against them in his career.

Ilya Bryzgalov will be between the pipes for Philadelphia. He’s faced the Bruins in all three games this season and has a career record of 5-2-2 against them.

This weekend is one that the Flyers cannot let go to waste.

They will need to start it off right with an impressive performance against the Bruins.


Follow me on Twitter (@utley) and make sure to "like" The Checking Line-Flyers Edition on Facebook to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news.