Flyers Preview:Ducks migrate to Philly
When the Flyers(2-2-1)take the ice tonight at the Wells Fargo Center they will face the Anaheim Ducks(2-4-1)in the fourth game of their five game home stand. This will be the first of two meetings this season for these teams, they will meet again on December 31st for a New Years Eve matchup.
Tonight's game will be their first since they were beat by the Penguins 5-1 on Saturday which put the Flyers on their current two game losing streak .The Ducks are coming off of a 3-1 loss to Columbus to start their current four game road trip and are 0-4 on the road this year. The Ducks are winless(0-4) this year on the road,they have struggled to score goals just three in those four road games.
The Flyers have a 9-7-5 overall record against the Ducks and are 4-3-3 at home and 5-4-2 on the road in Anaheim. The last two times these teams met was in Philly, the Ducks took that game 3-2 in OT. The last time the Flyers beat the Ducks was in Anaheim on Jan.2,2009 5-4 in OT.
Only six times has these two teams been trading partners,the biggest trade between these two teams just happens to be the most recent. That trade sent Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle to Philly for Joffrey Lupul,Lucas Sbisa,2009 first rounder(John Moore),2010 first rounder and a 2010 or 2011 conditional 3r round pick.
So far this trade has worked out for the Flyers as Chris Pronger helped lead the Flyers to a Stanley Cup appearance last season . Lupul has battled injuries since being traded and Sbisa hasn't been able to stick with the big club and again has recently been sent down to the AHL. There is still a lot of time to evaluate this trade as the Ducks still have more picks to make from this trade.
In The Nets
The Flyers will again start the Russian rookie Sergei Bobrovsky 2-1 2.67 GAA .910 SV%. He is coming off of a tough loss against the Pens and will look to bounce back tonight with a strong effort. For the Ducks it will be Jonas Hiller 2-4-1 3.45GAA .911 SV%. He is 1-1 against the Flyers with a 2.50 GAA.
On The Lookout
For the Flyers Danny Briere has four goals in five games this season and Richards,Carter,Leino and JVR all have 3 pts. Keep an eye on Bobrovsky and how handles tonights game coming off of his first loss in the NHL.
If the Flyers get any, check out the power play, they have worked on this a lot during their four day lay off. They have different looks that actually have two defensemen on the point and two forwards crashing the net. You can read about the different power play looks here . The Flyers are horrible right now on the man advantage with a wopping 9.1% success rate. Also for fun count how many times Hartnell falls tonight .
Watch the Ducks power play tonight, as they actually have played well with the man advantage and have a 21.4% success rate. They do however struggle on the kill at 79.4%, this is where the Flyers have been played thier best this year .
The Ducks still have some offensive talent,keep an eye on hometown guy Bobby Ryan(1g, 5pts),Ryan Getzlaf(2g, 8pts),Cory Perry(3g, 6pts),Teemu Selanne(3g, 6pts) and Saku Koivu(2g, 3pts).
Also look at the Defense of the Ducks for break downs, they have not been the same since the Pronger trade and the recent retirement of Scott Niedermeyer. Thier best Defensemen as of now is Toni Lydmam who has 2 goals and is a plus 2.
I am looking for a big one here as heavy weights Jody Shelley and George Parros should hook up for at least one dance together tonight.
Tonight is an oppurnity for the Flyers to play a much better disciplined game and try to expose the Ducks awful penalty kill. Off course the Flyers will have to stay out of the box and not give the Ducks the opportunity to show off thier power play.
Shots on net with traffic is a key tonight,to often the Flyers play with the puck and lose the chance for an open shot.The forechecking also needs to improve as it has lacked the relentlessness of last years playoff run. Pressuring the puck has to be an obseesion for this team, like a dog on a bone.
Step Up Players
JVR, Richards, Meszaros