Shark Warning Issued For South Philly
The Flyers are coming off a 3-2 win against the NY Islanders in which the Flyers scored two third period goals to regain the lead and hold on for the win. You can read the recap here. The San Jose Sharks are coming off a huge 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.
The Flyers have an overall record of 13-12-4 and a home record of 6-6-2 versus the Sharks. The Flyers have had a tough time with the Sharks they have lost seven straight and nine of their last eleven matchups.
The Sharks are on a five game winning streak here in Philly. The last time the Flyers beat the Sharks was almost a decade ago on Dec 12, 2000 in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks have been trade partners eleven times. There have been some interesting trades between these two teams like the most recent trade that sent kyle McLaren to Philly for a 2009 6th round pick and was nullified when Mclaren failed his physical.
There was a 2003 trade which the teams swapped draft picks, the Flyers sent their 2003 7th rounder to San Jose for their 2004 6th round pick. With the Flyers 7th round pick the Sharks drafted Joe Pavelski and the Flyers drafted Ladisalv Scurko with the 2004 6th round pick they received from the Sharks .
The most interesting one would come full circle back to the Flyers the long way. On Nov 16, 1995 the Flyers traded for Pat Faloon from the Sharks sending them a 1996 1st rounder, 1996 4th rounder and Martin Spanhel.
Both the 1st and 4th round picks were sent to Buffalo by the Sharks in a seperate deal. The player the Sabres took with that 1st round pick is currently playing for the Flyers. That player would be the Flyers current leading goal scorer Danny Briere.
In The Nets
The Flyers again are facing back to back games this time against the Sharks and the Leafs. Bobrovsky and Boucher will probably split the games, the question is who gets today's game ? If I were a betting man I would say you will see Bobrovsky today and Boucher tomorrow as San Jose is the stronger of the two teams.
This being one of Boucher's ex teams should not be a factor in whether he gets this start or not. Bobrovsky is 14-4-2 with a 2.21 GAA .925 SV% and this would be his first time facing the San Jose Sharks. Just confirmed Bobrovsky will be the starter tonight.
The Sharks also are facing back to back games with the Flyers tonight and the Sabres in Buffalo tomorrow night. They also could go either way with their goaltending versus the Flyers.
They could send Niemi (5-6-1 3.33 GAA .890 SV%) out who has struggled lately but has beat this team in the Stanley Cup Finals last year. Or they can dress Nittymaki (8-3-3 2.34 GAA .910 SV%)to face his former team. Nitty lost both starts versus the Flyers last year when he was with the Lightning.
The Flyers Danny Briere is on fire netting the game winner against the Islanders on Sunday. He has four goals in his last six games and eight goals in his last 13 games. Mike Richards snapped his five game goal drought against the Devils on Saturday a drought which dated back to Nov 22. He still leads this team in points with 28 following closely by Claude Giroux with 25.
Sergei Bobrovsky has been good in his last five starts posting a 1.98 GAA during that time. He was in net for both the Flyers wins this past weekend. For the Sharks Dany Heatley has been hot lately having recorded six goals and three assists over his last seven games. He is the Sharks leading goal scorer with 13 and points leader with 28.
The last time these two teams met was on Nov 20 2009 in San Jose. The Sharks would take that game 6-3 as Heatley led the way lighting the lamp three times for a hattrick. He has five goals in his last three visits to Philly.
Joe Thorton has just ended a 10 game goal drought when he scored on Monday night against the Red Wings. He is currently second on the team in points with 25 just three shy of Dany Heatley. Patrick Marleau and Ryan Clowe are close behind with 22.
The Flyers will take on a tough task when they battle with the Sharks tonight. The Sharks are a big team that have plenty of skill. The Flyers will have to slow the team speed of San Jose by using their body as much as possible tonight.
The Sharks protect the puck well by utilizing their size up front. The Flyers have to cut off the passing lanes of the Sharks as they are a very skilled passing team. They will have to be aware of those back door passes that result in tap in goals.
The Flyers don't get to see much of the Western Conference teams as is evident from their 2-2-2 record against the West this season. The Flyers were working on the Power Play again during practice this week. Let's hope Laviolette can find the right combo that will make this power play consistent.
Jody Shelley will be facing his former team tonight and could dance with #29 Ryane Clowe or more probable #10 Jamal Mayers so look for them when they are on the ice tonight. It would be nice if Carcillo was in the line up tonight but don't think that will happen as everyone in the lineup is performing well.
Step Up Players
Power Play, Shelley, Hartnell