Flyers-Jets preview: One goal is all we’re asking for

The Philadelphia Flyers will try their best to not get shutout against the Winnipeg Jets tonight. Maybe they’ll even win! Who knows?

The Philadelphia Flyers are not playing very well. Breaking news, I know. The past two games against the Minnesota Wild have been exercises in humiliation. Two straight games of uninspired play and zero goals will do that to you.

What’s important to realize is that it’s still so early in the season- 18 games in, to be precise. A mere six points separate the Flyers from the Metropolitan-leading New Jersey Devils (!). All it takes is a hot streak (and any contribution whatsoever from the their second and third lines), and the Flyers will be right back in the thick of things.

Tonight they’ll try to start that streak against the Winnipeg Jets. Here are three big questions heading into the game.

Can the Flyers score a goal?

The short answer: yes, of course.

The longer answer: playing any other team besides the Minnesota Wild will definitely jump start the Flyers’ offense. Credit the Wild defense and goalie Devan Dubnyk for two outstanding games, but there’s very little chance that the Jets will be able to match their efforts. Look for the Flyers to rediscover their ability to create quality chances at the net and in the slot.

Will the return of Nolan Patrick have an impact?

The prodigal son has returned. Nolan Patrick will play his first game since suffering a head injury in an October 4 matchup against the Anaheim Ducks. Don’t expect him to save the Flyers’ middle-two forward lines, but at the very least, he can’t be any worse than Dale Weise or Jori Lehtera.

Is this the Steve Mason revenge game?

Publicly, Steve Mason has spoken only positively about his time in Philly as of late. But c’mon, you know he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder against the team that let him walk after outperforming his competitor (Michal Neuvirth) in the goalie cagefight-to-the-death. He’ll get his first chance to prove to the Flyers what a mistake they made tonight.

Puck drops at 8 p.m. Go Flyers.