Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pre-game Post: Flyers v Bruins

Today the Flyers face off against the Bruins at 1pm on home ice, it is their second of three meetings during this season. Last time the Flyers fell to the Bruins in Boston with a 0-3 loss, their final meeting will be April 23 in Philadelphia. The Bruins, a very physical team, are coming off of a 2 day break. The Flyers can pull an advantage by having the NHL's best power play but they need to show discipline, emotionally and physically. But, the Bruins are the top ranked at penalty kills, a match up a power play will be interesting. They can not give away power plays like they so often do.  Claude Giroux has had back-to-back multiple point games, he needs to be focused and provide this team with strong leadership against this challenging match up. This game is the eighth daytime start for the Flyers, who have won four of their past five day games. Player to watch: Oliver Lauridsen defenseman will make his NHL debut, he was recalled to replace the injured Braydon Coburn. The Flyers will be going up against the NHL's player with best face off percentage (62.4) Patrice Bergeron the Bruins team Captain.  Giroux is going to have a hard time with Bergeron, who does not get scored on while he is on the ice. The Flyers need to create energy through out the game and perform consistently. Recently we have seen them come out of the gate during the first period with energy and then tapper off during the remainder of the game.
The Flyers are coming into this game as underdogs but if they can build on their successes, there is an opportunity for them to succeed. The defense needs to work with the goaltender and they need to constantly be pushing offensively if they want a chance to win. If the Flyers don't make it happen in the first period there is a chance that we will see the Bruins run up the score, as the Flyers do not perform well under pressure. If the Flyers can keep a 0-0 score during the first period, or, score, their confidence could come back and surprise us during the rest of the game. As the end of the season approaches there are numerous players out due to injury, a positive outcome to this game would be no injuries to the Flyer players that remain. The team will look to players like Zac Rinaldo to create energy and Hartnell to control his temper. If Hartnell shakes it up by getting petty penalties, it will jeopardize the cohesiveness of the unit on the ice. With the team confidence down, Lavoilette will need to provide inspirational leadership to get this team to perform today. The outcome of the game will depend on how the Flyers show up to the game during the first period. Hopefully Bryz has had a 5-hour energy drink prior to puck drop because he is going to need it.

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