Looking for revenge: Lightning vs. Flyers Preview
The 8-5-3 Flyers come into tonight looking for revenge from the November 18th matchup against the 10-4-3 Tampa Bay Lightning. They lost in the cursed shootout 4-3, but I thought Carter Hart was extremely solid in net yet again, saving 29 of 32 shots. The Flyers have been awful at shootouts since I’ve been able to open my eyes, I seriously don’t know what the solution is. I’m sure they are definitely on-board with the idea that OT should be extended to 10 min, I know I am.
Hart is currently 5-3-3 on the season with a 2.25 GAA and a .932 SV%. He’ll look to continue his strong play against one of the best goalies in the league. Andrei Vasilevsky currently holds a 8-3-3 record with a 2.38 GAA and a .917 SV%. I’m really looking forward to this matchup, two really good goalies that should put on a good performance tonight.
We all know the Flyers offense has been totally non-existent since the October 27th game against the Edmonton Oilers. On that night, the offense scored 5 goals, thanks to Giroux, Thompson, Atkinson (2) and Couturier. Since then, the Flyers haven’t been able to score more than 3 goals in a game. 1.8 goals in their last 10 games is extremely worrisome.
Joel Farabee is a player that I really need to get his offense going. In the last 13 games, Joel has 1 point (G vs CAR on Nov. 12th). If the Flyers want to get their offense going, Farabee is going to have to be one of the guys to step up and produce some depth scoring.
I’m not done just yet with complaining about Flyers’ players statistics in the last handful of games. We all know James van Riemsdyk is a streaky scorer, that’s no secret in Flyers land, but I need more than 6P in the first 16 games. James is one of the veteran leaders on this team, alongside Claude Giroux (who is a point per game player right now), the Flyers simply need him to step up.
In his last 10 games, James has only 1 goal and 2 assists, with that 1 goal in DAL being during that crazy net-front scramble. Maybe now that he’s playing with Couturier, who always seems to make the players around him better, he’ll start to pick up the offense.
Projected Lineup vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Joel Farabee – Sean Couturier – James van Riemsdyk
Claude Giroux – Derick Brassard – Cam Atkinson
Max Willman – Scott Laughton – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Nate Thompson – Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov – Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim – Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle – Nick Seeler
I’m not going to lie, I am completely opposed to the idea of Oskar Lindblom on the 4th line. I mean, seriously, what are we doing here? Oh, Oskar Lindblom is struggling to find his offensive touch? Let’s throw him on the 4th line where he’ll get 8 minutes a game and will start half of his shifts out in the defensive zone! I’d love to see a 23-14-11 line, for the same reason I’m hopeful van Riemsdyk can turn it around (Sean Couturier). Willman gets the bump up to the 3rd line with Laughton and Konecny, I’m actually pretty interested to see Willman away from that 4th line and with a little more offensively skilled players. He has a really nice drag wrist-shot that I could see him being able to use a little more often now.
The Lightning have already been without Kucherov, but now they’re going to be missing Brayden Point for 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury. The Flyers are currently underdogs against the defending champs on Parx Sportsbook, with their ML at +145. I was a little hesitant to smack this, but now with Point being out, I’m intrigued.
LETS. GO. FLYERS.
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Mandatory Credit: Tim Nwaschukwu - Getty Images