Game Day: Flyers/Thrashers Three's a Charm
The win on Tuesday night gave the Flyers a little breathing room in the division and conference standings, they now lead Pittsburgh by four points and the Capitals by three.
The Thrashers enter tonight's game with the slightest hope of squeaking into this years playoffs and will be ready to play tonight.
This is the fourth and final regular season matchup for these teams this season with three of the matchups coming in the month of March. The Flyers are 1-3 versus the Thrashers this season with Atlanta taking the last two matchups, with the last being the most memorable loss.
In that game the Flyers would blow a 3-0 lead, something they haven't done since 1987. The Thrashers would send the game into overtime when they scored with about six minutes left in the game to tie it at three.
Atlanta would eventually score in overtime and steal the second point from the Flyers. Look for the Flyers to come out tonight with a chip on their shoulders and revenge on their minds. With a better effort in the Penguins game it seems the Flyers may have started to make that turn steering this ship back on course.
The Flyers have had some success versus the Thrashers mostly thanks to Keri "Let'em In". From 2005-06 - 2008-09 the Flyers were almost flawless in that span versus Atlanta with a record of 15-0-1. Oh how the times have changed, the Flyers are 1-4-2 in the last two seasons versus the Thrashers and need a win tonight to even up the season series.
When it comes to having the man advantage the Thrashers are sitting in the 12th spot in the league with an 18.5% success rate while the Flyers sit in the 20th position with a 16.8 success rate.
The Flyers have the edge on the penalty kill and are 10th in the league with an 83.4% kill rate while the Thrashers are in the 29th spot with a 77% kill rate. With these types numbers the Flyers could make their power play the focal point of the evening if they can draw some penalties.
As far as the face off circle goes it is a pretty close matchup with the Flyers having a winning percentage of 50.1 %, the Thrashers are 49 % at winning the draw.
Playing With Fire
Andrew Ladd is leading the Thrashers in Goals (27) and in points (55), he is closely followed by defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (19) goal and (52) points. Byfuglien is fourth in the league in scoring for defensemen, he leads all D-men in goals with 19.
Next in points for Atlanta is another D-man, Tobias Enstrom, he has 10 goals and 51 points. The Flyers will have to pay attention to these two sneaking up on the play. Bryan Little right now has been hot of late notching two goals and an assist in his last four games.
JVR has been hot grabbing his first career hat trick against the Isles and has three goals and two assist in his last four games. Ville Leino has been the most recent Flyer on fire notching two goals and one assist in the Pens game on Tuesay night.
The Flyers if given the chance need to expose Atlanta's weak penalty kill. There's no time better to get this power play going and ready for the playoffs then the matchup they have tonight in this area.
The Flyers need to find a way to draw some penalties tonight, this will be a challenge as the Flyers do not go on the man advantage too often the way the refs see it. Turnovers were better last game as they committed just three compared to the nineteen they gave away the game before.
If they can stay consistent in that area the rest of the way and into the playoffs they will be in good shape. The big thing tonight to watch for is the fore-checking both in the offense and defensive zones, this is an area they were relentless in at the start of the season when this team looked unbeatable and another trip to the Stanley Cup Finals was inevitable.
Which Flyers team will we see tonight ? Let's hope for a consistent effort with minimal turnovers.
Although it sounds like a superhero character it is a post on Mike Richards by Mark Trible. Read it ! It is a good read. The Captain in Orange.
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