Game Day: Flyers / Hurricanes, Brindy Day
The Flyers are coming off a Florida road trip in which the beat the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first time this season 4-3 in a shootout and beat the Panthers 4-2 the very next night.
The Hurricanes are coming off a a 3-2 loss to the rejuvenated New Jersey Devils.
With a win tonight in Carolina the Flyers will sweep the four game season series. In their last ten games the Flyers are 7-3 while the Canes are 4-4-2.
The specialty teams percentages for both these clubs are pretty close . The Flyers are connecting on the power play 17.4 percent of the time while the Canes are a tad bit better connecting at a 17.8 percent rate.
The Flyers are much better at the penalty kill than the Canes, the Flyers come in ninth in the league with a 83.5 kill rate. The canes fall in the twenty fourth spot with a 79.8 kill rate. The Flyers must take advantage of the percentage and grab a couple power play goals tonight.
Nothing has changed much since these two teams last met. Eric Staal still leads the Canes in points with 57 and goals with 27 and Jeff Skinner is trailing behind with 43 points and 20 goals. Others to keep an eye on tonight, Eric Cole (31) , Tuomo Ruutu (41), Jussi Jokinen (38) and defenseman Joe Corvo (28).
The Flyers are a much deeper team and if they play the right way tonight they will be more than a handful for the Canes.
There has been a pretty glaring issue with the Flyers lately. They seem to struggle with a multiple goal lead, most recently against the Florida Panthers where the Flyers led 3-0.
The Panthers would get two back cutting the lead to one until Briere scored on an empty net. This is something the Flyers need to correct as soon as possible. If they go into the playoffs with this bad habit they will not last long.
When they have a team down by multiple goals they need to find a way to shut the opposition down and not give them a chance to change the momentum of the game. Their power play needs to be better also for the playoffs, they have to start scoring more regularly with the man advantage.
They will need to do this so when a team does go a man down mentally they think the Flyers will score. Let's hope the Flyers use the rest of the season to get these wrinkles worked out.
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Philadelphia Flyers will honor Rod Brind'Amour's 18 years of service. The Cane's in a pre-game ceremony will retire his number 17 to the rafters tonight.
All the Flyer's players will be wearing a number 17 Flyers jersey during warm-ups tonight as a sign of respect for Rod.
As a long time fan I remember Brindy's hard work during games and after. Many times after games Rod Brind'Amour would head to the training room to ride a bike and workout. The man was in shape and it showed in his performances on the ice.
When the Flyers traded him to Carolina for Keith Primo it seemed to be an even up trade. There were rumors on why he was moved and it involved Eric Lindros and Brind'Amour's wife, kind of like the Carter and Hartnell's wife rumor.
I know that at the time fans were frustrated with Brind'Amour as he had some stone hands while with the Flyers, often times missing open nets or flubbing the shot. I often wonder what would have been if the Flyers kept him instead of trading for Primo.
It seemed that Brind'Amour found his hands when he arrived in Carolina and also found that championship he could not get with the Flyers. If you want to read more on him Bill Meltzer has a good article here on Versus.
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