Game Day: Flyers / Senators
The Flyers were able to hold off the Isles on Thursday in OT with a 4-3 home win after surrendering the lead late, which has become the norm lately.
The Ottawa Senators are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres last night. They also have suffered more losses recently as they sent Mike Fisher to the Nashville Predators and reunited Alexei Kovalev and the Pittsburgh Penguins .
They did not go without an addition, they would claim Marek Svatos on waivers from Nashville and made his Senators debut last night in their 4-2 loss to the Sabres. They also made a trade to bring Craig Anderson from the Avs to Ottawa for Brian Elliott.
This will be the third of four matchups for these teams this season. The Flyers took the first two matchups convincingly, Bobrovsky was in the net for both victories. Doesn't look like he will get a shot for his third against the Sens as Brian Boucher is the rumored starter for tonight's game.
The Flyers have an overall record of 33-28-8 and a road record of 12-16-6 versus the Senators. These two teams are currently at the opposite ends of the standings as the Senators are last in the Eastern Conference with 49 points and 29th out of 30 in the league.
The Flyers are first in the Eastern Conference with 86 points and second in the league one point behind the first place Vancouver Canucks. The Flyers have the better special teams by far over these Senators.
Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter have been the hot Flyers of late, recording 2 goals and three assists in their last three games. Giroux had a great game against the Isles on Thursday night throwing his body around and connecting on a beautiful hip check in which he skated backwards for a bit to catch up to the Isles player and throw a perfect hip check.
Hopefully the Flyers will follow his lead tonight and starting hitting again. Boucher has been hot in is last four starts, winning all four earning a .941 SV% and a 1.50 GAA.
For the Senators, Jason Spezza has notched 2 goals and 3 assists in his last two games while Milan Michalek has 3 goals and 4 assists in his last six games.
Craig Anderson has been very good since being traded from the Avs to the Sens. He has stopped 105-109 shots in he three starts with the Sens earning a .963 SV%.
Previous Matchup Highlights
Check out the highlight from the last meeting between these two teams.
The Flyers just added a seventh the defenseman for the stretch run as they plucked Nick Boynton off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. He will be an upgrade from Matt Walker and Oskars bartulis at the seventh spot.
There was a meeting between Nikolay Zherdev and Holmgren and a separate meeting between Zherdev and Laviolette. Seems that not being picked off waivers may have opened Zherdev's eyes a little and brought him back to reality. Looks like he will be on the Flyers at least until Monday's deadline passes, although I do not foresee him being traded.
Don't be surprised if you see him the the Flyers line up sooner than later, maybe even tonight. He sure could help out the power play unit if nothing else, the problem with that is how do you hide his lack of defensive play.
Big articles going around about how Bob can't stick handle and that Boucher is a lot better. I will have to say that Boucher is better than Bob at handling the puck but he may be the only goalie he is better at handling the puck then.
Hope everyone hasn't forgotten how many times Boucher gave the puck away last year and in the playoffs. He also tends to play the puck more times than needed and that sometimes puts him in trouble.
That being said Bob needs work in that area and it is suffering a lot because of his lack of communication in English. I think the Flyers should just leave him be for now and just have him concentrate on stopping shots.
The only time he should venture behind the net would be to stop a hard wrap around and leave it for the defenseman. If an opposing forward is beating our defenseman he needs to just stay in net and let that battle happen naturally.
Bottom line is Bobrovsky is the better goalie and he will be needed in the playoffs and should be just stopping pucks. How many Stanley Cups have been won without a puck moving goaltender?
I sure as hell do not want them to make the decision of who is starting the play offs based on stick handling skills.
There is a strong possibility that Pronger will not play today meaning young defenseman Erik Gustafsson could be making his NHL debut tonight. He is the leading scorer for the Phantoms with 33 points.
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