Your Move Tampa Bay
The Philadelphia Flyers have had a flare for the dramatic as of late.
Over the past week, the team has been riding a roller coaster of emotion that has left every fan sitting on the edge of their seat, or in some cases jumping off the side of a bridge.
In any case, the team has found a way to make every day an adventure.
Last Friday, the team began a two-game western road trip by allowing the lowly Anaheim Ducks to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Flyers battled back by scoring three goals of their own prior to winning the game in overtime, 4-3.
The very next night, the team traveled to Phoenix where Ilya Bryzgalov had to play in front of his former home crowd for the first time in a road jersey. The Flyers scored four goals in the first period to effectively end the game after the opening twenty minutes of play.
Then on Wednesday, the team fell into another three-goal hole against the Buffalo Sabres only to battle out of it for the second time in three games. The Flyers once again won the game in overtime.
The team’s success culminated on Thursday night when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins on home ice to take sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference.
“We’re getting wins right now,” head coach Peter Laviolette said after Thursday night’s win. “I think our team is starting to look more comfortable. There seems to be more of rhythm for us.”
While the team may have been in rhythm, every fan was thrown offbeat when General Manager Paul Holmgren announced that captain Chris Pronger was out indefinitely with concussion like symptoms.
“[We’re] just trying to do the right thing here and get him checked out by the doctors in Pittsburgh and just see what we’re dealing with,” Holmgren said to reporters via conference call. “Is it a concussion? I don’t know that we know that. We want to get a better idea, obviously.”
Although not much is known, it is pretty clear that Pronger will be missing a considerable amount of time.
The Flyers will undoubtedly miss the presence of their captain, but have faired well in his absence.
The team is 6-2-0 since Pronger last played. Not to mention, Claude Giroux has scored eight points in his last four games, including three game-winning goals this week alone (Anaheim, Phoenix and Buffalo). He has registered at least one point in each of the team’s last four and currently leads the league with 37 points.
Giroux isn’t the only one succeeding.
Since the start of November, the team has gone 11-3-2 and has won four of their last six at home (4-1-1).
They will need to carry that success over into Saturday night’s meeting with the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.
Hopefully, the exciting performances will carry over as well.
The last time these two teams met, the Flyers stood in their defensive zone, while the Lightning stood in the neutral zone. All the while, millions of people watching the nationally televised event began changing the channel to something that had a pulse.
Tampa Bay ultimately won the war of attrition in overtime, 2-1.
Considering all the negative attention that the last game received and the fact that the NHL Network will once again be televising the game to a national audience, the teams may want to consider actually playing the game this time.
But with Tampa Bay losing five of their last six and Philadelphia unbeaten in their last four, the Lightning may do anything they can to try and slow down the Flyers.
Even if it comes at the audience’s expense.