Game Day: Flyers Look To Thrash Atlanta
The Thrashers are coming off two overtime games, a win against the Hurricanes and most recently a loss to the Devils.
In their previous matchup this season the Flyers beat the thrashers in Atlanta by the score of 5-2. Jody Shelley had a nice goal as he stopped a shot at the Flyers blueline and carried it the whole way up the ice and fired a shot off the far cross-bar elbow and in the net. Check out the video below in the Highlight Reel section of the blog.
These two teams will meet two more times this month for a total of three times this month, the most they play any opponent in the month of March.
When it comes to success on the power play the Thrashers are ninth in the league converting 19.5 percent of their odd man advantages. The Flyers are far worse in this department showing up in the 21st spot connecting 16.6 percent of the time.
Where the Flyers do fair well is on the penalty kill, could be because of all the practice they get during games. Couldn't help myself there. They are eleventh in the league with an 83.5 kill rate. The Thrashers are pretty bad in this area as the are the 29th team in the league with a 77 percent kill rate.
The Flyers are 4-5-2 in their last ten, if I remember correctly I believe this is the first time they were under .500 in any stretch of ten games this season. The Thrashers are 3-5-2 in their last ten and also have been to overtime in five of their last seven matchups, going 3-2 in those overtime games.
The Atlanta Thrashers have three players who have notched over fifty points so far this season. Two of those three players are defensemen, Dustin Byfuglien (50) and Tobias Enstrom (50).
Enstrom has nine goals and 41 helpers where Byfuglien's numbers are much more balanced with 20 goals and 30 helpers in his first full season as an NHL defenseman. As you all know he was the big body for the Blackhawks last year standing in front of the Flyers net battling with Pronger.
After being traded in the offseason to the Thrashers he was converted to a full time defenseman and it seems to be working out well.
The Flyers have five players above the fifty point mark, Claude Giroux (63), Jeff Carter (58), Mike Richards (55) followed closely by Danny Briere with 54.
Look for Sergei Bobrovsky to get the nod in tonight's game, he is 1-0 with a 2.00 GAA versus the Thrashers this season.
Trouble In The Locker room
If there were any doubt who is the leader of this club those questions were answered in the locker room after the 4-1 win over Edmonton Oilers.
Chris Pronger would give it to first time NHL All-Star Claude Giroux for his three turnovers during the game. You can read more here from Sam Carchidi. I totally agree with the lashing Pronger gave to Giroux , after all that is one of the reasons Pronger was brought here.
There have been rumors floating around since last week about there being some issues in the Flyers locker room. The first time I heard one was last week listening to Tim Saunders the Flyers radio play by play guy talking to Chris Therien on how Jody Shelley had mentioned about certain players falling off their routines and not being as committed as they were in the beginning of the year.
He said Shelley mentioned that it was something that can and will be handled in the locker room by the players.That rumor was also being reported on comcast sports night by Lisa Hillary last night.
This is why the Flyers have Timonen, Pronger, Shelly and O'Donnell on this team. There is enough leadership there to handle any in house issues that may arise the rest of the way.
Check out the highlights from the Flyers Thrashers previous meeting. Nice goal by Shelley, a couple nice checks from O'Donnell and a Bobrovsky scare behind the net.
Step Up Players