Tonight the Philadelphia Flyers travel to Calgary for the third part of their road trip. This is the first meeting this season between the Flyers and the Flames. The Flames will travel to Philadelphia on February 8th, 2014. Game time is 9pm and it will be televised on CSN Philadelphia.
The Flyers have won their first two games of this six game road trip. On Saturday night, Michael Raffl scored the winning shoot out goal to defeat the Oilers. On Monday night, it was Vincent Lecavalier who provided the shoot out winner. Steve Mason was the best player on the ice Monday night, stopping 41 of 44 shots through regulation and overtime, and everything in the shoot out. Mason deserves a break, so expect Ray Emery to get the nod tonight in Calgary.
The Calgary Flames are in rebuilding mode. Last season they traded away two pillars of their franchise, Jerome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, at the trade deadline. They have some young talent on their roster, like center Sean Monahan, but are still one of the worst teams, record wise, in the Western Conference. Their 14-19-6 record has them sitting 6th in the Pacific Division. However, the Flames were off last night while the Flyers have played two straight overtime games. The Flames should be fresh.
-If the Flyers want to win tonight they will have to jump on the Flames early. The Flyers will almost certainly be tired by the end of the game and the Flames will not. Also, the emotion from last nights victory will not carry over to the entire game. My fear is that this is the perfect “trap game” for Philadelphia. After the Flyers beat a stellar opponent in Vancouver last night, they may have a tendency to take the Flames lightly. Taking an NHL team of any caliber lightly is a recipe for disaster.
-Luke Schenn and Andrej Meszaros must be better. The Philadelphia Flyers third pairing was on the ice for all three goals against last night. The first two were a direct result of Meszaros missing his man. He looked lost on the ice for much of the game. The third goal against deflected off of Schenn. The third pairing has become a liability that the Flyers cannot afford. With Erik Gustafsson nursing a knee sprain, the Flyers are stuck with Meszaros and Schenn. Berube could replace Meszaros with Hal Gill (Meszaros was worse than Schenn last night and deserves to sit), but a Gill-Schenn pairing would be awfully slow.
-The Flyers have a chance to pull within one point of second place in the Metropolitan Division with a win tonight. The Flyers have played one game less than the second place Washington Capitals and are three points behind them. After tonight’s game, both teams will have played 40 games and the Flyers can come within a point. Not bad for a team that started 1-7.
-Claude Giroux is on a career-high nine game point streak. He has six goals and 11 assists in that span. His goal last night was beautiful. He is playing at an elite level right now. The thought of not putting him on Team Canada in the Olympics is a joke.