Can they gut one out tonight? Flyers at Avalanche Preview
After defeating the Blues 5-2 last night, the Flyers (21-32-11) will travel to Colorado to take on the (45-14-5) Avalanche. Hayden Hodgson had one of the best debuts you could ask for, scoring a clutch goal and registering an assist on Konecny’s first goal of the night. Carter Hart looks to get the nod tonight after Martin Jones stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced. You can catch the game at 9 pm on NBCSP & ESPN.
Hart will look to bounce back after allowing 4 goals on 29 shots (2 goals were empty netters) against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. Hart is currently 13-20-7 on the season with a 2.97 GAA and a .910 SVZ%.
Would be nice if the boys can come out and not leave Hart on an island as they did early in that Tuesday night Detroit game. I’m not one of the Ristolainen “haters” if you will, but he had an extremely rough game on Tuesday. He followed it up with a solid game yesterday against St. Louis, but I’d like to see the entire team give the same two-way effort tonight as they did yesterday.
Back-to-backs are already tough to begin with and having the second team in this back-to-back be the Colorado Avalanche, doesn’t make it any easier. We’ll see how tonight goes for the boys.
Last game between these two squads
The last time the Flyers saw the Avalanche was December 6th and it was Mike Yeo’s first game as interim head coach. They lost 7-5 and were in total disarray to the point where you couldn’t even sit down and watch them.
Since Giroux got shipped to Florida, it almost seems like the team has looked around and gone “Damn, looks like we all have to step up, G isn’t here anymore”. The younger guns (Konecny, Farabee, Provorov, York, Tippett, and Frost) have all taken on larger roles and seem to have given the team a bolt of energy.
Frost, although pointless since the Montreal game (assist), has been extremely impressive in the face-off dot (52.4% vs DET & 60% vs STL). He also has shown really fun chemistry with newcomer Owen Tippett. It’ll be interesting to see Frost (who can’t go back to the AHL this season even if they wanted him to) build on the confidence from the face-off dot and chemistry with Tippett.
I have openly been Travis Konecny’s biggest critic this season, and rightfully so. He has not put up the goal totals we are accustomed to seeing from him and although the assist have been there, he needs to be a guy that puts the puck in the back of the net…period.
Last night we saw him accept a pass from Keith Yandle while flying through the neutral zone and instead of dropping the pass back like we’ve been used to seeing, he fired one top right past Binnington like vintage TK. He potted another one later in the game off a Hayes assist. In the last 20 games, TK has 5G-13A-18P.
Like Frost, it’ll be really nice to see Konecny build off this for next season.
The Flyers have one of the worst penalty kills in the league, this is not a secret. In fact, their 26th ranked PK will go up against the 5th ranked Avalanche power play tonight. This Colorado team has one of the filthiest power-play units I have ever watched (outside of Edmonton…maybe) and I’m genuinely terrified to watch what they will do to us tonight.
Even in a season where I’m studying the Top 10 of the 2022 NHL Draft like my life depends on it, who doesn’t love a little feel-good story?
Hayden Hodgson made his NHL debut last night after signing an NHL contract with the Flyers on Tuesday. Hodgson has spent the majority of his hockey career in the ECHL. In fact, here’s all the teams he has played with:
- Utah Grizzlies and Wheeling Nailers (2020-2021)
- Reading Royals (2019-2020)
- Wichita Thunder (2018-2019)
- Florida Everblades and Manchester Monarchs (2017-2018)
Seeing this kid assist on a Konecny goal, score a clutch goal to further distance the lead from St. Louis 4-2 was such a cool thing to watch.
In my opinion, this kid is Gerry Mayhew, but younger, bigger and faster. He’ll be in the lineup tonight without a doubt and I’m extremely interested to see what he does after last night.
Pretty hard to follow up an NHL debut like that.
Flyers Lineup vs Colorado
James van Riemsdyk – Joel Farabee – Cam Atkinson
Hayden Hodgson – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindbom – Morgan Frost – Owen Tippett
Max Willman – Patrick Brown – Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov – Cam York
Travis Sanheim – Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle – Nick Seeler
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Mandatory Credit: Flyers Twitter - Zack Hill / Flyers PR