The Philadelphia Flyers are 1-7-2 in their last ten games and are currently in last place in the League. This week doesn’t get any easier as they face three teams fighting for playoff spots.
1) Monday, Jan. 14: Wild vs. Flyers-7 p.m. ET
The Minnesota Wild visit the Wells Fargo Center tonight and they have been struggling in their own ways. The Wild have only scored 33 first period goals in games this season so the Flyers want to get out to a fast start and get pucks on net early and often. The Flyers should try to stay out of the penalty box since the Wild have the ninth best power play in the League at 22%. The team is going to need to find a way to shut down Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund as they are the Wild’s top two point producers. The key to the game for the Flyers is going to be getting plenty of screens in front of the Wild goalie so he can’t see the shots coming and the players in front can get some deflections.
The Wild want to avoid getting off to another slow start, and set the pace early in this one. The Flyers goalies have been letting some pucks in the net so they’ll want to just get a ton of shots on goal. The Wild need to take advantage of their power play opportunities since the Flyers have one of the worse penalty kills in the NHL. Claude Giroux is the Flyers leading scorer so the Wild need to keep an eye on him since he can create and put the puck in the net. The key to the game for the Wild is to have a lead entering the final period since the Flyers have only one regulation win when trailing heading into the final period.
2) Wednesday, Jan. 16: Bruins vs. Flyers- 7:30 p.m. ET-NBCSN
The Boston Bruins are in town and the game will be featured as part of NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Hockey broadcast. The Flyers will need their depth scoring to step up in a big way in this one since Sean Couturier will likely draw the job of defending the Bruins’ top line. The Bruins have the third best power play so the Orange and Black will need to stay disciplined and avoid the penalty box whenever they can. The team is going to need to have their skating legs and try to keep up with Bruins. The goalie will need a big game and have to make saves, whether routine or spectacular since the Flyers give up chances. The key to this game will be finding a way to keep the Bruins’ top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak off of the board or limit their chances.
The Bruins need to play a physical game and establish offensive zone time early in the game. The Bruins need to keep an eye on James van Riemsdyk, who has been playing better of late and going to the net for some goals. The Flyers may not have a great power play this year, but Boston still needs to stay out of the penalty box. The goalie will need to have a good game for the Bruins since the Flyers still have some guys that can score and create. The Bruins want to play their game and don’t play down to the opposition.
3) Saturday, Jan. 19: Flyers vs. Canadiens- 7 p.m. ET
The Flyers will visit one of the more surprising teams this season, the Montreal Canadiens. The Orange and Black will want to get the first goal or at least set the tone early in the game since they’ve struggled on the road. The Flyers’ special teams will need to be better than the Canadiens’ special teams especially on the penalty kill. The team is going to want to get plenty of traffic in front of the net so the goalie can’t see the puck. They’ll want to keep an eye on Max Domi since he is the leading scorer for the Canadiens.
This would be a good game for the Canadiens to get their power play going since the Flyers aren’t very good when killing the penalty. They should play a physical game and try to set the tone early. The Habs want to have the lead entering the final period since the Flyers are not a good third period team.
Flying Forward Weekly Prediction
The Flyers should finish the week out 0-3-0, but they will likely grab a regulation win and finish 1-2-0. The Flyers one win will come against the Wild. The Flyers will end the week losing two straight against the Bruins and Habs.