The Flyers play the New Jersey Devils today at 1:00 p.m. in New Jersey. Here are a few thoughts on the matchup:
- After a slow start, James van Riemsdyk has been the hottest Flyer of late, yet he only saw 7 seconds of powerplay time in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Calgary Flames yesterday. The struggling powerplay could use a boost and he could be the catalyst.
- Claude Giroux, who led all Flyer forcwards in ice time yesterday (22:49), was off his game against Calgary, despite scoring a gorgeous shootout goal. It couldn’t hurt to give him more of a breather today. Perhaps JvR can take some of his powerplay time.
- Who will be in net for the Flyers? Although he got the loss, Sergei Bobrovsky played very well yesterday but Brian Boucher is perfectly capable of taking on the New Jersey Devils. Boucher would be the logical option, considering the back-to-back games. However, the Flyers have three days off after this game and Peter Laviolette likes to ride the hot hand. Unless Bobrovsky says he’s fatigued, I would not be surprised to see him back in net this afternoon.
- I think some worn cliches about fixing the powerplay are accurate regarding the Flyers. They need to simplify and get more pucks to the net and more traffic in front of the net. They’re trying to be too fancy and pass too much. Getting back to basics should have a significant impact.
- The Flyers need to put yesterday’s loss behind them. They can’t let it get to them. They also can’t look past the Devils. Although the Flyers have been successful against New Jersey in recent times, they still need to give a solid, 60 minute effort. If they hit the ice thinking this is game is already in the bag, it could get as ugly as the 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 25. (You may recall that the scoreboard did not reflect just how bad the loss actually was that game.)
- Prior to last night’s game, the Flyers lost two games in overtime this season (2-1 to St. Louis, 3-2 to Washington). Both times, they bounced back with strong wins in the following game (4-2 over Colorado, 8-1 over Carolina.)
- In the second of back-to-back games, the Flyers are 2-1-1 this season but have lost the last two games. In those games, they were shutout once by Montreal but have outscored their opponents 14-10.