After demolishing the Capitals 8-2 this past Saturday, the Philadelphia Flyers welcome the Florida Panthers to The Farg. Claude Giroux and the “Ginger Line” will look to continue their strong play against a Panthers team that doesn’t give up a whole lot of scoring chances.
Russian import Evgeny Dadonov and Jonathan Huberdeau pace the Panthers’ offense with 5 points apiece. Not far behind are Nick Bjugstad, Connor Brickley, and Vincent Trocheck each with 4 points. The Panthers’ well-balanced attack has them sitting pretty with a 5v5 GF/60 of 4.18, good for 3rd in the NHL.
The Panthers’ best line according to Corsi +/-, believe it or not, is one that includes Jamie McGinn. McGinn, Radim Vrbata, and Vincent Trocheck, who have a C+/- of +19. That has a lot to do with how good Trocheck is and not that McGinn suddenly turned into a useful hockey player.
Aaron Ekblad leads the Panthers’ defense with 4 points while his partner Keith Yandle has 2. Their defensive corps impressively all sport a CF% above 50 at 5v5. Only four other teams can say the same (Edmonton, San Jose, Carolina, and Montreal).
As I stated at the onset of this preview, the Panthers do not give up a lot of scoring chances. They place 4th in the NHL in xGA (5.96). If you aren’t familiar with expected goals against (xGA), please read up on it here.
Three things about the Flyers you need to know:
- Sean Couturier is scoring.
Flyers Twitter has always had a complicated relationship with handsome hockey man Sean Couturier. There are those who love him, but plenty who don’t. Regardless of your past feelings about him, he has played phenomenally well thus far. Couturier has three 5v5 goals, tied for the team lead with Claude Giroux. He also is 30th in the NHL in 5v5 P/60.
I don’t want to hear a negative word about Sean for at least a week.
- Claude Giroux looks like Claude Giroux again.
Speaking of P/60, Giroux is 3rd in the NHL in that category. With his nagging injuries seemingly healed and a move to the wing Giroux seems to have found his game again. He doesn’t seem to be pressing as much and by playing with two other talented players he’s free to create. Watching Giroux play thus far has been a treat.
- Travis Sanheim Hakstol’d again.
While most people will point to the final score of the Capitals game as a justification for keeping Manning in the lineup, Sanheim playing should become the norm. Manning was the only defenseman in the Capitals game to have a Corsi For % below 50. Sanheim seemed to be settling in before he got Hakstol’d to the press box. Sanheim actually has the 2nd best CF% on the team, trailing only Radko Gudas. Letting the kid play is the only way he’s going to learn Dave, not by sitting him out.
28 Giroux – 14 Couturier – 93 Voracek
40 Weal – 51 Filppula – 17 Simmonds
22 Weise – 19 Patrick – 11 Konecny
20 Leier – 21 Laughton – 12 Raffl
9 Provorov – 47 MacDonald
53 Gostisbehere – 8 Hagg
23 Manning – 3 Gudas
Go Flyers! Boo Capitals