Preview: Flyers Take On Bruins at 1PM; Please Lose
I am once again asking for the Flyers to lose.
Surely this is the day that it happens. Absolutely, this is the day that their run of victories–and their reign of terror over my psyche–comes to an end. Certainly, the Bruins are the team to make this happen for me.
The Boston Bruins have been an absolute juggernaut this season, the likes of which we have rarely seen. The Bruins who have only lost 5 times in regulation, and only 9 times total for a combined W-L record of 33-9.
If there was any team to make this 7 wins in 8 games nightmare finally end… it has to be the Bruins.
There is no pretending that the Flyers have an advantage anywhere, at any facet of hockey. They are completely outmatched by one of the most complete teams the NHL has to offer. Even the goaltending battle, which the Flyers generally win, they are outmatched.
The Bruins have a Norris-caliber #1 defenseman in Charlie McAvoy, who dominates five on five play like no other in the league. If he produced more points, he would never let anyone else win the damn award.
They have one of the league’s elite snipers in David Pastrnak, who is 2nd in the league in goals with 33 in 42 games. Throw in 26 points and he would have to absolutely collapse to not eclipse 100 points.
That’s not even to mention Bergeron and Marchand.
And then there’s the goaltending. You could put Hart with almost anyone, but if there’s anyone absolutely having a better year with all context removed… it’s probably Linus Ullmark.
Ullmark is the only goalie in the NHL with a Goals Against Average under 2.00. He has a 1.92 GAA and a .936 save percentage. He has a record of 23-2-1, and the advanced metric of Goals Saved Above Expected also suggests that this isn’t solely a product of playing for Boston.
Surely this battle between David and Goliath will see David eating his vegetables, which is otherwise known as an ass beating to preserve the soul.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, John Tortorella has been keeping stable lines. So they figure to look something like this:
Hart (almost surely, given the back-to-back)
Prediction: Bruins 4, Flyers 1
This is both a prediction and a hope.