Tonight the Philadelphia Flyers will take on the red hot Vancouver Canucks in Roger’s Arena. The game is at 10pm eastern time and will be televised on CSN Philadelphia. You can find Flyers vs Canucks tickets here.
The Flyers got their six-game road trip off to a nice start on Saturday night with a victory over the Edmonton Oilers. The Flyers fought back after going down 2-0 early and being down 3-2 in the third period. Michael Raffl scored the game winning goal in a shootout. Steve Mason figures to start this front end of back to back games. Look for Ray Emery to get the start tomorrow night in Calgary. On the injury front, the Flyers are still without Erik Gustafsson.
The Vancouver Canucks are 10-1-1 in the month of December and have moved into fourth place in the incredibly difficult Pacific division. The way it sits now, they own the top wild card playoff position in the Western Conference. In their win last Sunday against the Jets, the Canucks lost their starting goaltender Roberto Luongo. They will dress back ups Eddie Lack and Joacim Eriksson. The Canucks will also be without Alex Edler and Alex Burrows due to injuries.
-Joacim Eriksson was originally drafted by the Flyers in the 7th round of the 2008 draft. The Flyers did not sign the goaltender to an entry-level contract. Since becoming a free agent, the 23 year old goaltender has signed with the Canucks. Eddie Lack started last night against the Flames, so the Flyers could face Eriksson tonight. He was 9-10-1 in the AHL through 20 games with a SV% of .907 and a GAA of 2.77 before being called up due to the injury to Luongo. Lack posted a shutout against Calgary last night and he only saw 17 shots, so he may be fresh enough to start against Philadelphia tonight. As of this writing, Vancouver has not announced who will be their starting goaltender.
-With the possible exception of the Anaheim Ducks, whose loss last night snapped a ten game winning streak, the Canucks may be the hottest team in the NHL. The Canucks are 10-1-1 this month and are playing typical Tortorella hockey. They have only allowed more than two goals twice this month. They are 5th in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.3) and they have the best penalty kill in the NHL at 89.4%.
-There are a few Flyers who have caught fire lately as well. Both Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek are riding career-long point streaks. Giroux has 15 points (5G, 10A) in his currentt eight game point streak. Voracek has 15 points (6G, 9A) in his current nine game point streak. Wayne Simmonds has points in five straight games (7G, 2A) and has scored two goals in each of the last three games.
-Over the past few years, the Flyers have not fared well against John Tortorella’s teams. Tortorella’s defensively sound system gave the Peter Laviolette coached teams fits. The last time these two teams met, Craig Berube was coaching his 4th game. Tonight’s game will be a much better test of Berube’s system versus that of Tortorella.