Game Day: Flyers / Hurricanes
Tonight they will travel to Carolina to take on the (8-7-0) Hurricanes at the RBC Center,7:00 pm. The Flyers just finished a three day break in Pinehurst N.C. which saw them take part in team bonding.
Team bonding is very important, playing hockey together is one thing but getting to know someone outside of the game is priceless. This team has added some new players this season, some that can't even speak English, the hope is that this bonding time will help bring the team closer.
The team golfed at Pinehurst and the Word on the street is Danny Briere finished with the lowest score of the day, shooting an 82.
Tonight will be the final game of a three game homestand for the Canes, they will be looking for their first three game win streak of the season. The Canes are coming off a 7-1 trouncing of the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night which saw them score four goals on their first eight shots. In their last four games the Canes scored 21 goals, winning three out of the four games. They are 4-2-0 at home this season.
The last time these two teams met was in Philly earlier this month, the Flyers won that game 3-2. The Flyers have been successful against the Canes winning seven in a row and twelve out of the last fourteen matchups. The Flyers are 31-11-7 all time against the Canes and are 15-5-4 in Carolina. The last time the Flyers lost to the Canes was on Nov 28, 2008, 3-2 in OT.
In The Nets
Sergei Bobrovsky will be in the net for the Flyers tonight.Bob is coming off of a 36 save performance against the Capitals on Sunday.Bob was in the net when these two teams met Nov 1st stopping 26 of 28 shots to earn the victory.
Carolina had dressed Justin Peters in that Nov 1st game in Philly, expect them to start Cam Ward tonight, he is coming off of a 21 save performance against Edmonton.In six games versus the FLyers he is 2-3-0-1 with a 3.58 GAA and a .869 SV%.
On The Lookout
Look for Bobrovsky to keep up his solid play and help keep this team in games they are not in mentally. While watching the game tonight keep an eye on the player who is not hustling or not aggressive as this player will sit when JVR is ready to come back into the lineup. Who do you think that player will be ?
Look for Briere and Richards to stay hot. Keep an eye on the amount of face-offs the Flyers win or lose as it will directly affect the outcome of the game.
As fo the Canes keep an eye on Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner as they lead the team with 15 points and six goals a piece. Eric Cole, Tuomo Ruutu and Defensemen Joe Corvo have also been big contributors to the Canes offense this season.
It is important that the Flyers come out tonight strong with an in your face forecheck in both the offensive and defensive zones. It will be interesting to see how the Flyers play after having the three days in between games. The norm is that they will start off slow for about a period and a half, take a tongue lashing from Laviolette then actually show up.
This is where Bob has excelled for the Flyers, he has held them in games and kept them close enough so when they woke up they would still have a chance to win. Let's hope tonight they are on top of their game and the team bonding golf outing was just what they needed coming off of six games in ten nights.
Pick Up Sticks
This year the NHL will try to make the All-Star game more exciting. Remember playing hockey and picking teams by everyone throwing their sticks in at center ice, and one person throws a stick one by one on each side of the redline ? Well the NHL will do something like that, but more closely to what happened to you in gym class. The fans will still have voting input and two captains will be chosen by a group of veterans. Once the captains are chosen they will then choose teams. I wonder if that process will be televised ? It will be interesting to see who was chosen first and last and get their reasons from the captains. You can read more here.
Step Up Players
Pronger, Hartnell, Carcillo