Game Day Preview: Flyers look to Ice Caps
They went 3-1 on their road trip picking up six of a possible eight points while holding onto the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers are currently second in the league with 63 points, one point behind Vancouver who has 64.
The Washington Capitals are coming off a 3-1 win versus the Ottawa Senators, a game in which the Caps scored all their goals in the third period. Tonight's game versus the Flyers will kick off a three game road trip for the Caps.
Like I have mentioned above the Flyers are first in the Eastern Conference standings with the Capitals trailing behind by six points in the fifth spot. The Flyers record versus Eastern Conference teams is outstanding, they are 25-7-2 versus those teams while the Caps numbers are pretty good too at 22-10-6.
The Flyers still show up second behind Detroit with goals for per game at 3.42%. The Caps show up in the 14th spot averaging 2.80 goals per game.Washington is slightly better at allowing less goals per game than the Flyers.
The Caps are allowing 2.56 GPG while the Flyers allow an average of 2.60 GPG. When it comes to special teams the Capitals have the advantage over the Flyers. The Caps are connecting 18.1 % clip on the power play while the Flyers are connecting 16.4 % of the time.
The Penalty kill is where the Caps have the real advantage on special teams. They are killing off penalties 85.0 % of the time while the Flyers are killing them at an 82.3 % rate. Another glaring area between these two teams is face off winning percentage.
The Caps are third in the league winning face offs 52.8 % of the time while the Flyers are winning them at 49.2 %, slotting the Flyers in the 22nd spot. This is the one spot that can really hurt the Flyers tonight as puck possessions start with the draw.
Third game between these two teams and both teams have earned three points in those games.
The Flyers are 13-6-2 at home and the Caps are 9-9-2 in opposing buildings.
Pronger is skating with the team and will be checked out tomorrow and if all is well he could be in the lineup on Thursday versus the Senators.
Flyers have extended Paul Holmgren's contract for 3 more years, money is a little over 4 million for the total extension.
Tonight should be a good game for the Flyers as they will be in front of their home crowd for only the second time since Christmas. After having a rough end to the Ranger's game Saturday, look for the Flyers to have some extra fire in their eyes tonight.
The Flyers need to jump on the Caps right away and score first. They need to set up traffic in front of the net and take the goalie off his game. The Caps have young goaltenders and they can get rattled easy if the start of the game favors the Flyers.
The one thing the Flyers must realize is that the Caps are never out of the game even if the Flyers are up by a couple goals. You saw last game versus the Rangers, the Flyers have a shutout going and then Boosh lets a Leighton type goal in and the momentum swung in favor of the Rangers.They were able to net one more and apply pressure until the final whistle blew.
Boosh played a good game on Saturday but those weak goals he gives up every game has to stop. It is hard to overlook a momentum changing goal even if he has played a strong game for 50 minutes.
Those types of goals and the fact that Bob is a rookie have me asking the question; Is our goaltending good enough to win the Stanley Cup ? What do you think ?
Step Up Players
Carle, Nodl, Betts