Game Day Preview: Flyers / Islanders
It was the Flyers first win in their last 4 games. The Islanders are coming off back to back games versus the NY Rangers in which the Rangers took both games, a 6-5 offensive show and a 2-0 shutout.
This will be the third time these two teams have met this season, they face each other three more times. The Flyers took the first meeting at home with a decisive 6-1 win and the second one in Long Island 2-1, Sergei Bobrovsky was in net both times.
The Flyers have owned the Islanders in the series, having won 17 of their last 18 matchups and 8 of 9 in Long Island. In their last 10 games the Flyers have a record of 5-3-2. The Islanders are pretty horrible and are lining themselves up for that first pick in the draft again.
They have lost 16 of their last 17 games and are looking for any kind of spark to get their team going. In their last 10 games the Islanders are 1-6-3.
In The Nets
Today the Flyers could spot start Boucher as this is the back end of back to back matinée games. Laviolette could go either way with this as he could still play Bobrovsky as the Flyers don't play again until Wednesday when they face the Sharks at home. Either way the Flyers "should not" have any issues with the islanders today.
The Islanders could go either way also with Roloson or DiPietro. Roloson has been a bright spot for the Ilse's despite his 2-10-1 record and his 2.46 GAA, he is also sporting a .914 SV %. Look for him to get the nod today.
This game could be a trap game for the Flyers. They seem to play down to lesser teams and it takes them off their own game. This can not be the case today, the Flyers just have to come out and out class the Isles and prove they are an elite team by putting this team away convincingly.
Not every game can be a blow out or an offensive fire storm, but there are matchups where it is probable and this is one such matchup. One way to ensure this probability is to capitalize with the man advantage.
The power play is just brutal right now (2 for41) , and every time the Flyers do not score when given the opportunity they give the opposing team a chance, in form of momentum or a PP of their own courtesy of Hartnell or Briere.
Too many times this happens at the worst moments in the game, even if the opposing team does not score with the advantage, by having to kill you take away even strength play and players lose their regular shifts. If your not part of the special teams in these cases you will start to cool off and stiffen up sitting on the bench.
One thing being more and more common with the Flyers lately is the lazy and stupid penalties taken at the end of games like the one Hartnell took against the Devils yesterday. As soon as he took that penalty with just under 2 mins left in the game the Devils yanked their goalie giving them a 6 on 4 advantage.
Patrik Elias would score on that advantage with 45 seconds left in the game to pull with in one. The Flyers escaped this time with a victory and need to be more disciplined towards the end of games. Hopefully today the Flyers can throw up a couple power play goals and snap out of this funk they are in.
The Flyers have always been a classy organization with their players, former, future and present the fans and in the community. What they did on Saturday afternoon confirmed just how classy they are when they honored fallen Navy Seal Collin Thomas.
Thomas often visited the Flyers organization and became friendly with the players and staff. The Flyers honored him before the game against the Devils and presented his parents with a number 6 Flyers jersey with his name on the back. See the article here.
Step Up Players
Carter - has to do more than just an empty net goal
Hartnell - Too many Bad penalties and he falls too much
Zherdev - he played only 9:50 the entire game and just 2 minutes in the third. Mostly because of the turnover he had that sent kovalchuk on a breakaway that BOB saved. he needs to step it up if he wants more time and real time on the PP