The Philadelphia Flyers will be a busy group this week with having to play four games in six days. They’ll face one back-to-back situation and will play three out of four games at home. Philadelphia will end their week facing in-state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
On Monday, the Flyers will face the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens are off to a 4-0-1 start to the season and have been scoring goals while not allowing too many. It helps to have Carey Price in net, but he missed a few games due to the flu. The Habs need to try and get the first goal because the Flyers have one first period goal in fives games played. Montreal needs to take advantage of being up a man since the Philadelphia penalty kill hasn’t exactly been great this season. The Flyers defense will chip in on the offensive side of the puck so the Habs will need to keep an eye on them throughout the game.
The Orange and Black will need to get off to a good start and maybe even get the first goal to take the crowd out of the game early. The Flyers need to move the puck quickly and try to utilize the stretch pass since the Habs haven’t been giving up much in the way of goals to the opposition. If Price starts then Philadelphia will need to find a way to beat him, most likely by getting traffic in front of him and going for the deflections. If he can’t see the puck then he’ll have a harder time making the save. The Flyers will also have to keep an eye on the Canadiens defense since they can produce and put up some points. The biggest key to winning is stopping the top line of Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, and Alex Galchenyuk, who have 15 points in the early going.
There won’t be much time for rest as the Flyers are right back at it on Tuesday night at home against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres will need to come out with energy and establish the play in the offensive zone early since Philadelphia played the previous night. Buffalo will need to keep an eye on the trio of Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier, and Jake Voracek, who have been the Flyers best scoring line this year. Buffalo needs to take advantage of power plays because the Flyers will give up some chances.
Philadelphia will need to find a way to get off to a decent start since they are the team that played the night before. If the Flyers can shut down one of the two lines that are point producers for the Sabres then they should have a shot at winning the game. The Orange and Black will need to keep an eye on defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, who can contribute on the offensive side of the puck. He leads the Sabres with five assists and is tied for the lead in points with Ryan O’Reilly at 5. If Philadelphia can get pucks towards the goalie and test him early then maybe they can finally get some first period goals.
On Thursday night the Arizona Coyotes come to the Wells Fargo Center. The Coyotes have struggled in the early season but did beat the Flyers in overtime on October 15 in Arizona. The Coyotes will have to stay out of the box against Philadelphia because they do have a decent power play. The Flyers have three lines that can beat you so the Coyotes will have their hands full.
The Flyers need to get the first goal and build on the lead from there since the Coyotes struggle when the opponent has a lead heading into the final period. Philadelphia needs to avoid looking past the Coyotes, play with energy, and get a good forecheck established early. They will also need to use their speed to get to loose pucks and force turnovers. The Orange and Black need to keep the trio of Jordan Martinook, Brad Richardson, and Shane Doan off the board, and make the other lines beat them.
On Saturday night, it’s the first meeting of the season between the Pennsylvania state rivals. The Penguins have been without Sidney Crosby due to a concussion that he suffered while practicing. Pittsburgh won’t be able to just focus on one line for the Flyers since the Flyers have actually gotten some balanced scoring so far. Philadelphia isn’t as big this year as they have been in the past so Pittsburgh should try to play a physical game. The Pens needs to get in on the forecheck and force turnovers, which will lead to scoring chances.
The Flyers have to have a good start to the game especially since the crowd will be into the game right from the drop of the puck. The Flyers need to be smart with the puck and try to slow down the Penguins especially in transition. Even though the Penguins haven’t had Crosby to start the season, Philadelphia still needs to stay out of the penalty box because the Pens’ power play is still dangerous. The most likely situation has Couturier going up against Evgeni Malkin so the Flyers will need to find another line to stop the line of Scott Wilson, Matt Cullen, and Patric Hornqvist.
The Flyers won’t have much time to rest since they’ll be right back at it on Sunday to face the Carolina Hurricanes.