The first of three chances to hold off elimination, the Flyers need a big effort to keep things going.
One game at a time. That has to be the Flyers mindset heading into Tuesday night’s game. Win a period, win a game and stay alive. Don’t look ahead to the what if’s or what could happen. The focus has to be on this game only.
The Islanders have been able to pounce on almost every mistake the Flyers have made during this series. It is a lot different from the first round. This team will make you pay more often than not. So everyone will have to be on their game.
The effort in Game Four was among the best the Flyers had given in this series. It was a game that could’ve gone either way. But again, the Islanders took advantage of the turnovers and made Philadelphia pay. Not to mention Thomas Greiss was sharp in his first playoff start in a long time.
Brian Elliott did what he could for the Flyers as well. But it is hard when you’re getting left out to dry on turnovers and odd man rushes. But we should end up seeing Carter Hart and Semyon Varlamov back in their respective nets.
The Flyers will need to see the same Hart they have had for most of the playoffs. And they’ll hope to get the same Varlamov from Game Two. The one who let in three goals on 10 shots. That same goaltender sharpened up in the following game, though.
Creating traffic in front and going for the greasy goals are some of the ways to get things going. That is how the Islanders scored a few of their most recent goals. It’s simple to say that taking away the goaltender’s eyes is a good way to score.
Park someone like James van Riemsdyk in front of the net and let him go to work. His line has seemed to develop quick chemistry, something needed at this point of the playoffs. That is if Alain Vigneault doesn’t decide to do an overhaul of his lineup.
He didn’t do it in Game Four, but he may have to figure some things out before this one. The Flyers need a big spark and that could come in the form of roster changes. There has been no word on if Oskar Lindblom will be ready to play.
Sticking him into the heat of this playoff series may not be the best idea. Especially for a player that hasn’t played since December. Lindblom has been defying the odds, though. So nothing can be ruled out in regards to him playing.
He skated in warmups on Sunday. And the calendar has flipped to September, a time in which there was talk that he could be ready to re-join the lineup. If the Flyers wanted a huge boost going in, they could re-insert Lindblom.
Otherwise, they could make some changes from within what they already have. We’ve mentioned numerous times of reuniting Travis Konecny will his top line mates. His frustration is to the point where we are seeing it on every shot he takes.
Give him two other players who have been going through the same thing and let them figure it out together. Moving Jakub Voracek off the top line may feel like a demotion for a player who has been hot during this series. But it gives him a chance to spark some other players as well.
Stick him with players like Kevin Hayes and Joel Farabee. Let those three go to work with the combination of speed and stick handling. Those are just a few of the changes you could make heading into this all too important game.
It’s win or go home for the Flyers. Let’s hope we are saying that at least two more times.