The Flyers are taking the ice to play a real game for the first time in over four months.
We can finally say this again. The Flyers have a hockey game today. For the first time since March 10th, the team will skate against someone other than themselves.
And it’s none other than their rivals from Pittsburgh. What better way to welcome hockey back? The two teams will be the first exhibition game being held in one the hub cities.
And even though this is an exhibition game, don’t expect either team to take things lightly. This is the only tune up they will get before the postseason begins. The Penguins will be fighting for their spot in the first round so they will no doubt be taking things seriously.
The Flyers have nothing to worry about, their spot in the first round is safe. But this will serve as a chance for the coaches to see what players will take the ice for their first round-robin game.
We will already have a chance to see some players that are on the bubble. Shayne Gostisbehere, Egor Zamula, and Mark Friedman will make up part of the defense that will be taking the ice. Two veterans on the backend will be sitting this one out.
The same forwards from Saturday’s Group A will take to the ice. That includes Joel Farabee who still appears to be in the mix for a permanent spot on the playoff roster. This could be one of his last chances to prove he belongs in the lineup.
With 13 forwards expected to play, don’t expect to see cohesive lines the entire game. Vigneault will likely use this game as a chance to test out different combinations and get a feel for who will work well together.
So what should we expect to see during this game? Being the first time the Flyers have faced another opponent, things may be slow to start. Not having played an actual game in four months, both teams will need to get their feet under them in a game environment.
While chemistry was regained during the various practices, finding that in a game will be much different. There will be room to get the kinks out before the games begin to count.