The Flyers enter tonights game against the Devils with both teams coming off their bye week. The bye did not come at a good time for the Flyers. After a win Sunday against the Sabres, the Flyers were riding a 3-game win streak.
However, the Devils needed the bye. Before the bye, the Devils were riding a 5-game losing streak 0-2-3. The bye week gave them time to get away and re-energize for the second half of their season.
Tonight’s game is one the Flyers cant take lightly. Even though the Devils have lost 5 straight, 3 of them went to overtime or shootout and the Devils were leading in 3 of the 5 games in the 3rd period.
However, after the bye week where all the Flyers either went on vacation or back home, they cant skip a beat. The Flyers need to come out with the same energy they had in the last few games before the bye started.
With a win tonight, the Flyers could be in a tie for a playoff spot.
Patrick vs Hischier
Tonight’s matchup marks the first meeting between the 2017 NHL Draft’s top 2 picks, Nico Hischier & Nolan Patrick. During the summer, these two were the talk of the trade as to who would go 1 and who would go 2.
The Devils ended up taking Nico Hischier #1 overall. A decision that looks to be paying off in the early stages for them. Hischier enters tonight game with 8 goals and 18 assists through his first 41 games.
The 2nd overall pick, Nolan Patrick, isn’t having the same great start Hischier is having. However, Patrick is starting to find more and more confidence on every single night. Patrick has 2 goals and 6 assists through his first 33 games.
Tonight is the first of many meetings between the top 2 picks. Even though Hischier is off to a hot start, these two have a long way to go before we see who was the better pick.
Coming off the bye week, the Flyers practiced once. Yesterday, everybody took the ice at 4:00pm in Voorhees. Well, just about everyone.
The lone missing piece, Shayne Gostisbehere. Gostisbehere missed the first practice back from the mandated week off.
However, the reasoning behind it wasn’t serious. GM Ron Hextall told the media that Gostisbehere missed the practice due to being ill. He also said he expects him to be in the lineup tonight in New Jersey.
But, one has to wonder if that is the right decision.
If Gostisbehere has the flu, is it the best thing for him and the team to travel with them for one game and possibly pass his illness to another teammate? No. The Flyers are in a stretch of most win games right now and need him.
However, with Gostisbehere missing practice yesterday, it gave time to Travis Sanheim to get some work with Ivan Provorov. Therefore, if Gostisbehere can’t go, Sanheim will jump into his spot on the Flyers top unit.
Flyers Lineup 1/13 vs Islanders (Projected)
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
Michael Raffl – Valtteri Filppula – Jake Voracek
Jordan Weal – Nolan Patrick – Wayne Simmonds
Jori Lehtera – Scott Laughton – Tyrell Goulbourne
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Andrew MacDonald – Robert Hagg
Brandon Manning – Radko Gudas
Game 43 – New Jersey Devils, Newark NJ
7:00 pm NBC Sports Philadelphia
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports