Flyers Host Canucks In Home Opener
Larry DAngelo on Wed, 2011-10-12 12:04
After two successful games on the road, the Philadelphia Flyers (2-0-0) will host last season's "runner up to the cup", Vancouver Canucks (1-0-1). The Flyers beat Boston and New Jersey while battling through Tim Thomas and Martin Brodeur to start the season undefeated.
Ironically it was the Flyers' net minder who was the better of the goaltenders in those matchups, allowing only one goal in 120 minutes of play. The Canucks, fresh off a 3-2 OT SO win in Columbus, head into Philly for their second game of their current four game road trip.
The matchup between these two teams tonight will be the only one of the season unless they face each other in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Flyers are 37-18-1 at home versus Vancouver and have an overall record of 68-29-13. The Flyers have lost the last two matchups, one in Vancouver and One in Philly.
The Canucks found the net nine times during those two games while the Flyers manage to only find the net twice. The last time the Flyers beat the Canucks was in Vancouver on December 30, 2008.
There has been only one playoff round played between these two teams, in the 1978-79 season. They met in the preliminary round, a best of three, in which the Flyers took the series 2-1 outscoring the Canucks 15-9. These two teams battled for the top spot in the league during the first half of last season, a title Vancouver eventually won.
The Flyers will have to play a more disciplined game and avoid the unnecessary lazy penalty as the Canucks will test the Flyers penalty kill unit.
On the Lookout
Obviously the Flyers will have to keep the Sedin twins in check tonight. Daniel(#22) and Henrik (#33) both have three points this season, Daniel has the only goal of the two. The Canucks have six goals in their first two games all by a different player.
The Flyers need to get their power play back to preseason form. Wayne Simmonds (#17) seems to have found a home, not only in Philly but in front of the net. Look for him to cause some havoc in the crease and deposit the trash.
The Jaromir Jagr (#68) Claude Giroux (#28) connection is still in it's infancy stages with the potential to grow legendary in Philly like the cheese steak.
In The Net
Ilya Bryzgalov will make his Flyers home debut tonight and should get a huge ovation from the hometown crowd. He enters tonight's game 2-0 with a shutout and a .50 GAA. He has let up one goal on 43 shots and has a save percentage of .977.There is still a feeling out period for him and his defense but so far so good.
The Canucks will go with Roberto Luongo (0-0-1) with a 2.77 GAA and an .893 save percentage. This will be his second start of the season as Corey Schneider started and got the win in Columbus. Traffic in front of him will be key for the Flyers tonight.
It will be interesting to see how the newly revamped squad performs after having a few days off from game action. Last year they did not fare well when coming off a 3-4 day break.
There is a different mix of young players in the Flyers lockeroom this season which should add a spark to this team . With the party boys gone in trades this off season, the Flyers play may not resemble that of a weekend warrior. One who plays in an over 30 league with a hangover, on Sunday mornings.
Step Up Players
Briere - Needs to find the back of the net
Hartnell - Needs to play more Simmonds like
Talbot - Needs to be Stronger on the draw and on the Penalty Kill