Better With Popcorn

Resilient Flyers Begin Second Half

 

Fresh off the All-Star break, the Philadelphia Flyers (29-14-5) are set to face the Winnipeg Jets (22-22-6) tonight at Wells Fargo Center. 

 

After surviving the months of December and January on the road (20 of 29), the Flyers are entering a stretch that will see them play eight of their next ten games at home.

 

The Flyers cannot afford a slow start to the second half of the season. 

 

They have battled through injury, schedule, and chemistry in the first half and still managed to put themselves on a pace for 108 points, two more than last season. 

 

The first game off a break posed some major problems for the Flyers last season.

 

With the young additions in this off-season and the veteran presence already on the team, the Flyers seem to be handling these breaks much better. 

 

Although Chris Pronger is not here to lead by example, players like Jaromir Jagr, Kimmo Timonen and Maxime Talbot have picked up the slack and have inspired a better team attitude with their work ethic. 

 

 

Jagr's work ethic alone had rubbed off on many Flyers including Scott Hartnell who is on pace to score 40 goals this season and has worked hard to handle his newly found minutes which rose from ten minutes a game to twenty since his move to the top line. 

 

It's the hard work and leadership that have been displayed in the first half, which will allow the Flyers to handle these breaks better than they did last season. 

 

 

Matchup

 

The Flyers are 6-3-1 in their last ten games while the Jets went 3-6-1 during that span.

 

This is the third of four meetings between these two teams this season. The Flyers lost the first two meetings against the Jets, surrendering 15 goals in those two games while managing 12 of their own. 

 

In fact, before relocating to Winnipeg, the Flyers lost three of their four meetings last season to the former Atlanta Thrashers while surrendering just 12 goals in that span.

 

The first matchup between these two teams was the infamous “lost in the woods” game for Ilya Bryzgalov.

 

After seemingly finding his form in the subsequent games after the dibocal, Bryzgalov regressed back to inconsistent performances prior to the All-Star break.

 

Was the break enough time for Bryzgalov to clear his mind and get back to form? Will he find his confidence in time for a long play-off run? 

 

Step Up Players

 

Bryzgalov

 

Giroux

 

Simmonds

 

 

 

 

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