This is going to get ugly, isn’t it? Hurricanes at Flyers Preview
Rod Brind’Amour’s (34-11-4) Carolina Hurricanes come into South Philly to take on the (15-24-9) Philadelphia Flyers in a 3 pm game on a Monday. Rasmus Ristolainen and Patrick Brown are both back in the lineup after missing time with injuries. Carter Hart was scheduled to get the nod in the net but will be out with an eye infection. You can catch the game at 3 pm on NBCSP.
With Carter Hart out, Martin Jones will get the start with Kirill Ustimenko backing him up. Jones is currently 6-9-2 on the year with a 3.58 GAA and a .898 SV%. Jones’ last game came against Washington on the 17th, facing a total of 25 shots, and allowing five goals throughout the contest.
I know I said I’d like to see more of Martin Jones in my last preview article, considering the trade deadline is quickly approaching (March 21st), but just for fun, I’d love to see Ustimenko get the nod. Why not? The Flyers have a zero percent chance of leaving tonight’s game with a win so why not give the kid a look in the net and see how he fairs.
Rasmus Ristolainen and Patrick Brown will both be back in the lineup this afternoon after both players missed a good portion of time with injuries.
Ristolainen will finally return after suffering an upper-body injury, missing the last three games. He’s another player who will be right in the middle of trade rumor talks if the Flyers don’t end up re-signing the physical defenseman from Finland.
Patrick Brown, a waiver-wire pickup from the Vegas Golden Knights earlier in the year, will be back in the lineup this afternoon after suffering a knee injury against the San Jose Sharks on January 8th. Brown will center the fourth line with Issac Ratcliffe and Zack MacEwen on his wings.
PP differentials are laughable
It turns out you’re actually allowed to score multiple times on the power play in the same game, something the Hurricanes have done two times in the last five games. The Flyers on the other hand have two power-play goals in their last twenty attempts.
Carolina currently has the 6th best power play in the league, converting at a 25.2% rate this season. In their last eighteen attempts, Carolina has scored six times, with those six goals coming against some pretty high-powered teams (BOS, MIN, FLA, WSH, and PIT).
The Flyers currently have the 3rd worst power-play in the league, converting at a 14.7% rate this season. In their last five games against WPG, DETx2, PIT, and WSH, the Flyers have only scored twice in twenty attempts. One of the goals came from Keith Yandle against Detriot on February 12th, his first goal as a Flyer.
Carolina’s 1st power-play unit is terrifying, with names like Vincent Trocheck, Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Andrei Svechnikov, and Tony DeAngelo on the point. It’ll be interesting to see how the Flyers PK, who hasn’t been as bad as their power-play this year (not saying much) fairs against this high-powered Hurricanes team.
Flyers Lineup vs the Carolina Hurricanes
Oskar Lindblom – Claude Giroux – Cam Atkinson
James van Riemsdyk – Scott Laughton – Travis Konecny
Max Willman – Morgan Frost – Gerry Mayhew
Issac Ratcliffe – Patrick Brown – Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provororv – Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim – Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle – Nick Seeler
I’d personally throw Ratcliffe in Willman’s spot next to Frost and Mayhew on the third line, but what do I know. Ratcliffe made his NHL debut on January 29th against the Kings, and since then, the 6’6 forward has faired well in NHL, scoring 1G-2A in his last three games.
Gerry Mayhew had his first 2-goal game in the NHL on the 17th against Washington, after Travis Sanheim used his smooth skating ability to feed him for a tap in the third period.
I’d be genuinely shocked if the Flyers came away with the win this afternoon against this high-powered Carolina team. If I was betting on Parx Sportsbook, I’d go with Carolina -1.5 at +106.
I hate sitting here telling people to bet against the Flyers, but I’d be a mad man if I tried to convince you this team was going to beat Rod Brind’Amour’s hockey team.
Mandatory Credit: Zack Hill/Flyers PR - Flyers Twitter