Red Wings Projected Lines
Power Play Units
Flyers Projected Lines
Brayden Schenn-Claude Giroux-Wayne Simmonds
Travis Konecny-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Roman Lyubimov-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Matt Read
Chris VandeVelde-Nick Cousins-Dale Weise
Andrew MacDonald - Shayne Gostisbehere
Ivan Provorov-Mark Streit
Radko Gudas-Brandon Manning
Yes, I know it’s another NBCSN Rivalry Night and you wonder what the rivalry is. Here’s the talking points I obtained by breaking into Pierre McGuire travel crate:
- Mark Howe played for both the Red Wings and Flyers. His dad’s name is Gordie.
- Darren McCarty’s goal LOL
- Presented independent of Darren McCarty’s goal (stretch the content), the Red Wings swept the Flyers to win their first Stanley Cup in 42 years.
- Terrible joke about the Red Wings breaking a “curse” against the Flyers in 1997 and how two other teams are trying to break a curse in Cleveland (reminds you to change channel to baseball game, you never change back)
- But seriously, the Red Wings haven’t won in Philadelphia since 1997 (insert stock Zetterberg clip about importance of winning on the road)
I know, these Rivalry Nights get obnoxious most weeks but remember, if NBC had it their way it would be the Blackhawks playing the Blues literally every Wednesday. Take what you can get.
Standing on 19
The Flyers have made the most of their recent drafts. A pair of 19 year olds Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov made the team out of camp and are expected to remain with the team for the rest of the season. Both have been big contributors, with Konecny playing regularly on the second line with Jake Voracek and was even briefly promoted to the first line with Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux. While Provorov is experiencing a tougher adjustment at defense, he’s still been able to put up five assists in his first 10 games and earned some power play time.
Wayne Simmonds vs. whatever poor soul trying to clear him in front of the net
If anyone is looking for today’s best comparison to Tomas Holmstrom, I’ll submit Simmonds. Sure, Simmonds has more touch with the puck, is a much better skater and will drop the gloves with anyone, but looking for pure net-front excellence, I believe he’s the best since Holmstrom. As of writing this, Blashill has yet to name a starter for tonight’s game, but whoever it is will be seeing Simmond’s no.17 square in his face often. He’s arguably the best forward in the league at positioning himself around the net. He’s also pretty dangerous shooting off the wing.
Broad Street Scheduling Bullies
The Flyers have been middling so far this season, mostly due to giving almost 4 goals per game, the second worst total in the league. The Flyers have struggled on defense between injuries to Nick Schultz, Michael DelZotto and the continued struggles of Andrew MacDonald. But if you’re going to make excuses for a slow start, the hectic scheduling to begin this season might be to blame. The Flyers have had three sets of back-to-back games and played five games in seven nights to open the season, going 2-3. This might not be as bad as the Hurricanes having to play their first six games on the road, but you wonder if weariness has caused some of the early defense and goaltending issues for a talented and supposedly ascending Flyers team.
Larkin Looking Comfortable Again
There’s a ton of pressure on Larkin to recreate the magic of the first half of his rookie season. He seemingly hit a wall after the all-star break, something understandable with the physical demands transitioning from NCAA to NHL. Some were anticipating Larkin burst out of the gate following an off-season to recover and train, but it really hasn’t happened yet. Outside his two goal game vs. Carolina, he’s been quiet on the stat sheet. This could be partially blamed on an experiment to make him a center the first couple games of the season, but Blashill quickly pulled the plug and has since had him jumbled with several different partners. He’ll be playing with Nielsen and Nyquist, which I believe will be a good fit for him. He had a power play goal vs. the Panthers and set up what should’ve been a tieing goal with seconds left vs. Boston but Mike Green whiffed on it. I think he just needs some consistency in linemates or maybe he should be put with Tatar and kept with him. I could see those two opening each others game up.