The Philadelphia Flyers head out on their yearly California road trip that kicks off in San Jose against the winless Sharks. The trip consists of four games in nine days and actually ends in Carolina before the team returns home.
The Flyers split the two-game series with the Sharks last season. San Jose scored three goals, though only needed Erik Karlsson’s first period tally, in a 3-0 shutout on Oct. 23. The Flyers got their revenge in an overtime win on Dec. 29. Travis Konecny scored with just over two minutes remaining while Tony DeAngelo’s goal gave Philadelphia the 4-3 win.
This has the makings of a trap game, right? San Jose hasn’t won a game yet and is coming off two embarrassing performers. This is where the Flyers end up taking an opponent too lightly, right? Maybe a different Flyers team would do that. This team has felt different since the puck dropped on opening night. Yes, they’ve looked flat in a few games so far. But it doesn’t seem like they’re one to play down to an opponent that is clearly struggling.
And the good news is that Sean Couturier will be back in the lineup after missing a few games due to a lower body injury. Carter Hart is on the trip, but isn’t quite ready to return as of yet. He did take part in the optional morning skate and stayed on for extra work. There’s a chance he could play sometime during the trip. Sam Ersson has been handling starting duties in the meantime.
With Couturier back, it’s Morgan Frost who comes out of the lineup once again. It’s a situation worth monitoring as there seems to be a clear disconnect between the Flyers and Frost. It’s something that needs to be figured out before things start leaking out. Frost, while still pointless, has been generating a bunch of scoring chances lately. His teammates, namely Tyson Forester, haven’t been able to finish them.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Owen Tippett – Sean Couturier –Tyson Foerster
Travis Konecny – Noah Cates – Cam Atkinson
Joel Farabee – Scott Laughton – Bobby Brink
Nicolas Deslauriers – Ryan Poehling – Garnet Hathaway
Cam York – Travis Sanheim
Nick Seeler – Sean Walker
Egor Zamula – Louie Belpedio
San Jose Sharks
Talk about having the worst start to a season that you can. The Sharks have not won a single game and just have a single point in 11 total games. They’ve given up 10 goals in back to back games while only scoring three combined. They had been shutout in three straight games prior. They have scored more than one goal in just two games.
Fabian Zetterlund leads the Sharks with only three goals while Tomas Hertl’s seven points are the most on the team. Eight players have scored a goal for San Jose this season. But nothing has come in bunches for a team that is looking for any kind of answer they can find.
The goaltending numbers are also by far amongst the worst in the league. Only Filip Gustavsson (4.89 GAA & .871 SV%) has worse numbers than both Mackenzie Blackwood (4.78 GAA & .879 SV%) and Kaapo Kahkonen (4.30 GAA & .876 SV%) when looking at goaltenders who have played in a similar amount of games. It’s hard to have good numbers when the team in front of you is bleeding scoring chances, though.
Sharks Projected Lineup
William Eklund – Tomas Hertl – Fabian Zetterlund
Anthony Duclair – Mikael Granlund – Luke Kunin
Jacob MacDonald – Nico Sturm – Kevin Labanc
Givani Smith – Ryan Carpenter – Filip Zadina
Mario Ferraro – Kyle Burroughs
Nikolai Knyzhov – Jan Rutta
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Nikita Okhotiuk
Where, When, and How to Watch/Listen
Time: 10:30 PM
Where: SAP Center
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Live Stream: FuboTV
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