The Tank-a-thon Continues: Flyers Face Capitals to Close Homestand
After a disappointing series of events that led to a 5-3 win over the ludicrously crippled facsimile of the Avalanche, the Flyers will have the opportunity to get back on the right side of the ledger tonight with an L against the Capitals.
Joining them in this quest towards Connor Bedard and the Nirvana of the 2023 NHL Draft is James van Riemsdyk.
He will return to the lineup after spending the last 5 weeks or so nursing a broken finger.
Max Willman will be scratched to make room for van Riemsdyk.
Now, some of you might worry that the return of an NHL player will hinder these potentially franchise altering tanking efforts. But don’t worry!
JVR played 82 games for the Flyers last year and didn’t stop them from tanking with aplomb, so him playing 60 games this year sure as hell won’t stop the tank from rolling.
Carter Hart will be in net for the Flyers, because Carter Hart is always in net for the Flyers. It’s rather disturbing how much they play him despite being a team that stands to gain nothing despite winning a single game.
But this franchise is somewhat accustomed to making head-scratching decisions that cut against their self-interest. For example, they made another one today!
In yet another example of NOT playing the kids, John Tortorella has made the decision to send Egor Zamula back to the AHL so he can log “big minutes” in the minors.
I don’t know how big the minutes can possibly be since the top LHD spot and the PP1 spot are both occupied by Cam York, who’s also down there to “log big minutes.”
But I’m assured that the minutes will be big.
Apparently, Tortorella felt that he had to win a hockey game. And the best chance he had was to play Justin Braun and Nick Seeler!
Yes, he actually said that.
First of all, if you didn’t know, I’m rolling my eyes as I type this. The idea that either Braun or Seeler provide a meaningful difference to winning a hockey game for the Flyers is so far fetched that unicorns are more realistic.
Second of all, why is winning a game so paramount that John Tortorella is going back on his word to “play the kids?”
What are we doing here? This is the guy who has repeatedly stressed that the organization is in a rebuilding state.
Instead of letting our kids develop with big minutes in the NHL because winning means nothing to this team, we’re acting like a playoff team that must scrape for every point.
I’m not going to try and guess. They’re different every game.
And even if I did correctly guess the lines, Tortorella would just change them by the end of the first period anyway.
STORIES TO WATCH:
Morgan Frost looked good on the half-wall of PP1 in the game against the largely hospitalized Avalanche. It’s the position most suited to his skillset, and Torts seemed to agree.
He wants to see more of the same out of the young center. Most importantly, he wants to see some consistency. Rather than flashes of skill that don’t lead to reliable offense.
On this, Torts is completely right.
Carter Hart remains one of the best goalies in the league by Goals Saved Above Expected. Click the photo below for even more goaltending analytics.
I’m fascinated to see how long he can keep up the elite play under the psychological strain of playing for one of the worst teams in the league.
I wish I had more storyline, but frankly, the Flyers are impressively uninteresting.
Prediction: 4-2 Capitals
One step closer to Bedard!
Mandatory credit: Johnny Ulecka