Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

Flyers host Senators in Saturday Matinee

New Years Eve is a holiday packed full of tradition. Every year, people all over the world enjoy an evening of celebration prior to counting down the seconds to the beginning of the New Year.

As is tradition (in most places at least), a bottle of champagne is cracked and a song called “Auld Lang Syne” is played.

The song is about old friends who have parted but meet again. The song is sung on New Years so that every one remembers to reunite with one another in the New Year.

For the Philadelphia Flyers, this New Year has been more about separation than reunion.

In the Winter Classic, the first game of 2012, the team lost their third-highest scorer when Jaromir Jagr left the game with what is assumed to be a pulled groin.

In the second game of the New Year, Kimmo Timonen, who in Chris Pronger’s absence is without question the leader of the defense, sustained an injury to his wrist and is listed as day-to-day.

Now, prior to the third game of the year, the team has once again placed defensemen Matt Walker on waivers.

It is assumed that Erik Gustaffson will be called up to fill the vacant spot on the blue line but following Friday night’s AHL Outdoor Classic, Gustaffson said he hadn’t heard anything about a call-up.

Late Friday night, Howard Eskin reported that Timonen’s wrist injury is not serious and that he will try to play Saturday in the first game of a home-and-home series against the Ottawa Senators.  There is still no official word from the team as to what Timonen will do.

Luckily, defense may not be a factor this weekend.

Last time these two teams met, the Flyers embarrassed the Senators in Ottawa, 7-2.

As of Friday night, the Senators had allowed 136 ‘goals against,’ the second most of any team in the league. In addition, the team has allowed five or more goals 11 times this season.

The Flyers on the other hand have had no trouble scoring goals.

As of Friday, the team’s 130 ‘goals for’ was the second most in the Eastern Conference and the fourth most in the entire league. After defeating the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-4 on Thursday, the Flyers have scored five or more goals 10 times this season.

With all that being said, the Senators are not the same team the Flyers met back in October.

Coming into their first meeting, the Senators were 1-4-0 and held only one of their opponents to under five goals. After being beaten by the Flyers, the team turned their luck around and won six straight.

The Senators currently sit in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference only three points behind the Flyers. They are in the midst of a four game winning streak.

While the team found success after a rocky start, they’ve also been streaky. They have four separate streaks of at least three wins but also have three separate streaks of at least three losses.

After winning six straight after the Flyers loss, the team immediately followed it up with a five game losing streak.

With the Senators riding high on the back of a four-game winning streak, it will be the perfect time for the Flyers to knock them back to reality.

It will also be a chance for the team to gain some ground on the Rangers who currently possess first place in the league and hold a six-point lead over the Flyers (the Rangers have played one extra game).


Follow me on Twitter (@mattbrigidi) and make sure to "like" The Checking Line-Flyers Edition on Facebook to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news and notes.

Feel free to shoot me an email: