Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pre-game: Flyers v Canadiens

The Philadelphia Flyers look to continue their winning streak tonight against the Montreal Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center.  This is the second of three face-offs between the teams. In February, the Flyers fell to the Canadiens 4-1, who were able to out skate and score the team. Danny Briere had the only goal of the game for the Flyers but tonight, the Flyers still be without Briere due to injury.  Also tonight the Flyers will play without Max Talbot, who broke his leg in their game against Washington on Sunday.

Confidence is high as the Flyers are amongst their come back of the season beating the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals in a sweep this past weekend. If the Flyers manage to win this game tonight, it will be their first 3 game winning streak all season but the Canadiens might prove challenging to beat.  The Canadiens who are comfortable with one goal games, coming back from a deficit and constantly grinding their opponents down; the Canadiens will make tonight a long night for the Flyers.   

With the surprising battle the Flyers put up against Washington on Sunday it is hard to expect what this unpredictable team will do but one thing is certain: the more they stay out of the penalty box the greater chances they will have to win.  The Flyers have demonstrated that they have determination and are full of surprises, beating the Bruins on Saturday followed by a tight victory over the Captials on Sunday, tight in part to too much time spent in the penalty box. If they can continue to build upon the foundation that is laid out in front of them, it is possible they spring board into the play offs. The key tonight is to stay sharp, every goal and every opportunity counts.  The first period is an indicator with this team: if they show up in the first period, maintain puck control and deal with the adversity, they have a fighting chance. They have to acknowledge that they will at time deal with a deficit but they have to be able to answer the Canadiens goal for goal. Often the problem is, the Flyers don’t play well with a deficit,  especially not Bryzgalov. Another key is staying out of the penalty box, they either want to go to play offs or they don’t – stay out of the box!! From here on out the Flyers will be looking to Bryzgalov and in future games, newly acquired Steve Mason, to be the MVPs of the game. Mason has not yet arrived to Philadelphia and tonight Cal Heeter will serve as back up to Bryzgalov.

Both teams should show up fairly rested for tonight’s game as the Canadiens have had 4 days off and the Flyers have had 3 days off. Tye McGinn is the most likely choice to fill Max Talbots spot since he is out for the remainder of the season with a broken leg. Going into this game (forwards) Read, Fedetanko, Knuble, Giroux, Schenn, Rinaldo, McGinn and (defensemen) Schenn, Timonen, and Lauridsen have to be prepared to play all 60 minutes of this game. Giroux has been able to put this team on his back before and lead them to victory, he believes in this team. Although the trade deadline past at 3pm today, lets hope the trades are not still on the minds of the Flyers as they take the ice tonight at 7:30pm.

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