Game Day: Flyers Go Into The Wild
The Philadelphia Flyers (14-6-2) enter the evening with the best record in the league and will travel to Minnesota to take on the Wild (10-7-2) at Xcel Energy Center in their only matchup of the season.
The Flyers are coming off a huge 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens Monday night. It was the first time this season the flyers won a game while trailing going into the third period. Brian Boucher made his second straight start and earned his second straight win.
James van Reimsdyk netted the game winner which was his first of the season and finally earned his way out of the "Step Up Player" section of this blog. If you missed the last game or want to read more on that game see my partner in crime's Flyers Habs recap.
The Minnesota Wild are coming off a 5-2 loss to the NY Rangers that snapped their three game winning streak. Prior to the Ranger game, the Wild were 6-2 in their last eight.
The Flyers are 6-4-1 overall against the Wild and do not fare well in Minnesota with a record of 1-2-1. The last time the Flyers won in Minnesota was Dec. 5, 2007. The Wild have taken the last two matchups, one in regulation the other in OT, both by one goal.
The Flyers are tops in the league in goals for at 78 compared to the Wild who have just 48 goals this season. They have not scored more than two goals in a game in seven straight home games this season.
Not one Minnesota player has seven goals, their leading goal scorer is a defensemen with five. The Flyers have four players who have at least seven goals and have scored five goals in a game eight times this season.
On The Lookout
The Flyers will look to keep the scoring plentiful tonight, Claude Giroux leads this team in goals with 12 followed by Jeff Carter and Daniel Briere who are tied at 10. Mike Richards leads the team in total points with 24 followed closely by Giroux with 23.
Minnesota's has been playing good defense of late allowing 47 goals this season which is good for second fewest in the Western Conference. That being said the Wild have recently been having one bad period a game. In their last game versus the Rangers they surrendered 3 goals in the second period and were outshot 17-4.
They also were out shot by Detroit in the second 18-3, 16-2 by Anaheim in the third, and 16-6 in the first by Tamp Bay. In those periods the Wild had let downs they were outshot 67-15.
With the Flyers recording over forty shots six time this season and over 30 shots seven times there should be no reason to think tonight won't be one of those nights.
Not sure what Laviolette is thinking about as far as starting goaltenders for this game. For most Flyers fans they would like to see Bobrovsky back in net tonight as he has looked like a number one net minder since the first game of the season in Pittsburgh.
Boucher has won his last two with the game against Washington being a little better than Montreal on Monday. Boucher is always good for a bad goal or two a game, he is a career backup and backups usually don't get three consecutive starts unless something like a sickness or injury is suffered by the starter.
The only other reason I see and have mentioned before is they could be showcasing Boosh for a trade as Leighton is practicing and working his way back. I still see Bobrovsky as the starter when Leighton does finally get back to game shape, unfortunately for the Flyers Leighton's cap hit is 1.5 mil while Boosh is 900,000 so they won't get much cap space relief if and when they trade Boosh.
Keep an eye on this situation as it would not be a hockey season in Philly without some kind of goaltending controversy.
The Flyers currently have two write-ins for the All-Star game this year. Calude Giroux and Sergei Bobrovsky, Giroux is currently in 11th place with 54,215 write-in votes and Bobrovsky is second in Goaltending write-ins behind Carey Price with 58,101. Let's get these players in this year's game as write-ins, vote here.
Step Up Players
Hartnell, Briere (for their late game penalties), Timonen