At first look, the Flyers-Senators game should be a relatively easy 2 points for the Orange and Black. They have a goalie that has looked very bad so far this season. Meanwhile, we’re off to a good start, beating some of the best teams in the league. But this is professional sports. It’s very rare for anything to be that predictable. So let’s look at why this game may not be a guaranteed win.
The underlying theory behind this being a trap game is that Flyers may not have the proper motivation against a seemingly inferior opponent. First off, we’re coming off a stretch of games against some quality teams. We opened the season against the defending champion Bruins. Then we played a hated division rival in New Jersey. After that, we had our home opener against Vancouver, last years runners up. Finally, we faced our former captain, and a LA Kings team that is expected to be a legit Cup threat this year, moreso than last year. Fortunately, all of those tough, emotional games were spread out a bit, giving the guys a few days to rest between games.
Now we’re coming up to a stretch where we don’t have more than one day off between any of the next 7 games. More importantly, our next game is against Washington. It’s easy to look ahead to a game like that. We’ve also got Toronto and Montreal on the horizon. Regardless of standings, those are always tough games. So tonight’s game will give us an early look at the mental makeup of this team. Are they strong enough to show up for every single game? Or are they full of themselves?
I’m hoping this team is different than last years in their approach to the game. I understand that these are people, and they have emotions. Some nights it will be a few guys carrying the load, while other nights we’ll get a full team effort. But, more often than not, I want to see that these guys care about every result. I want them to come to play every night. Standings don’t matter when the puck drops. All that matters is the guy in the other colored sweater wants to beat you, and you cannot simply let him do that. Hopefully the Flyers will have that sort of attitude tonight.
However, they do have a few things to draw some inspiration from. Jagr is still looking for his first goal of the year. Ditto Hartnell. Bobrovsky will likely start his first game of the season in net tonight. A few other snipers should be looking to pick up the pace a bit. Also, the entire season is still relatively young. Guys should still be excited that they are back to playing meaningful games. They’re still getting into the swing of things. Their bodies and minds are still fresh. They should still be excited about coming to the rink every night. Hell, the Sens fans don’t have quite the reputation as other Canadian fans do, but they are still Canadians. That should make for a good atmosphere in the building, right? So maybe the Flyers do come out, dominate, and come home with a win. But if they look flat, at least we’ll know why.
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Topics: Boston Bruins, Ice Hockey, Jaromir Jagr, LA Kings, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Scott Hartnell, Sergei Bobrovsky, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals