Game Day: Flyers Hab To Win Tonight
But before that can happen the Philadelphia Flyers (32-12-5) will look to head to the break with a win tonight when they host the Montreal Canadiens (27-17-5) at the WFC, 7:30 pm EST.
This will be the fourth meeting of the season for these two teams. The Habs took the first matchup of the season in a revenge game from last years Eastern Conference Finals with a 3-0 shutout.
The Flyers would take the next two matchups with JVR netting three goals, two of them game winners. Both teams would net eight goals a piece in the three matchups.
The Flyers are 9-2-0 this month and will be looking for their tenth win of the month while the Habs are 7-3-1 since December 31st. With the Flyers idle last night and the Canucks picking up a 7-1 blow out win against the Dallas Stars, the Flyers and Canucks are tied for first in the league.
Both teams have one more game to play before the All-Star break, the Flyers tonight and the Canucks tomorrow. The Habs are eleventh overall and currently trail the Flyers by ten points in the standings.
This should be a good matchup as the Flyers are still first in the league in goals for at 3.43, while the Canadiens are only surrendering an average of 2.39 goals per game.
Cracking the Habs defensive play will be a challenge for the Flyers on special teams as well. When the Flyers do get the man advantage tonight they will put their often inconsistent power play unit against the Habs who have excelled defensively this season, especially on the penalty kill where they are third in the league killing off power plays at an 85.4% clip.
It is important for the Flyers to capitalize at least once on the power play tonight as it may help shake their confidence. The Habs are currently 11-11-1 on the road this season.
In The Nets
The Flyers will start the red hot Sergei Bobrovsky (20-6-3)tonight when the Flyers face the Habs. He has won five straight starts and is sporting a 1.8 GAA during that time. He was close again to his first NHL shutout and the Flyers first shutout of the season against the Blackhawks but was not to be a the Hawks scored on a penalty shot. Six times this season Bobrovsky has taken a shutout into the third period and he is okay with that as long as the team wins.
Les Habitants will dress their reborn star, All-Star Carey Price (24-15-5) who is tied for the league in wins with Jonas Hillier with 24 and is sporting a 2.33 GAA for the season. He has faced 1281 shots on goals so far this season and has seen many 40 shot nights. In his three matchups against the Flyers this season he has faced 116 shots on goal, 41,45 and 30 respectively.
The question for today is; What Flyers team will show up tonight ? In their last two games their they played like two different teams. They did not show up for the Devils on Saturday afternoon losing 2-1 to the last place team.
The Devils have been playing well since they last met the Flyers but it is not an excuse for not showing up. Sunday they met the Blackhawks and looked much like the team from earlier in this season as they beat the Hawks in the Mad House on Madison.
The Flyers did not fair well in the last game before a break previously this season when they faced the Florida Panthers and lost 5-0 almost like they were looking ahead to the break a little too soon.
They need to put it all out there tonight, they will need to use their bodies a lot more than they have lately. The Habs are a fast talented team and if the Flyers do not use their bodies and cut the passes up the middle they will be in for a long evening.
While the Habs are good on the penalty kill they are also pretty good with the man advantage connecting 20.% of the time. The Flyers cannot give the Habs many opportunities with the man advantage tonight as it could spell their demise.
They will need to focus their energy on a strong forecheck and winning puck battles along the wall. Expect Laviolette to have his team ready tonight to put out a enormous effort knowing rest is a day away.
Fill Me Up
Saw this tweeted this morning by @SWhyno if your going to be at the game one of these will be there. Now only if they can speed up the people at the register. Check this out !
Step Up Players