October 4th is right around the corner Flyers fans. In just fifteen days, the Flyers will open up their regular season versus the Chicago Blackhawks in Prague. For now though, we’ll have to settle for some preseason hockey. Tonight the Flyers play host to the Boston Bruins in what will be their third of seven preseason games. Here’s 3 things you need to know ahead of tonight’s preseason tilt.
*Tonight’s line combinations and defensive pairings can be found at the bottom of the article.
Giroux-Couturier-Farabee make up top line
Joel Farabee is doing his best to make the ‘Orange and Black’ in camp. Tonight, he’ll get to play on the top line with two of the best in Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. If he has something to prove, tonight would be the night to do it and Farabee knows that.
“I don’t think you can really give me a better opportunity”, said Farabee. “I think tonight’s a really big night for me. I’m just excited to showcase what I can do”.
His two linemates, Claude Giroux, and Sean Couturier praised the play of the 22-year-old following morning skate.
“He’s looking good”, said Giroux. “It’s fun to play with him. He’s obviously a really young player but you can see that his hockey IQ is really high. He makes the right decision most of the time. I’m excited to play with him in a a game”.
Sean Couturier also had high praise for Farabee and seemed excited to play on a line with him.
“I think he knows what he has to do”, said Couturier. “He’s a pretty smart player. Just from practicing with him, we seem to have some good chemistry so hopefully we can translate that into the game. He’s young, but he’s really smart and he seems to know what he has to do to be a good player out there”.
Morgan Frost makes his preseason debut
Last year, Morgan Frost played one preseason game for the Flyers before being sent back to juniors. Tonight, he makes his preseason debut in hopes of this time staying in camp a little while longer. Who knows. Maybe this time around he stays for good.
Frost was slated to play Monday night in the preseason opener but unfortunately was scratched due to injury. The Flyers called it a lower-body injury and listed Frost as day-to-day. Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault later identified it as a groin injury. After a few days of rest, Frost took to the ice yesterday on the Flyers day off to test things out. Considering he’s in the lineup tonight, the injury is likely no longer a factor.
Much like Joel Farabee, tonight is the night Frost will want to showcase what he’s got. He’ll center the second line with James van Riemsdyk on the left-wing and Jake Voracek on the right-wing.
Alain Vigneault likes what he sees from Ghost
Shayne Gostisbehere and Justin Braun have been together for most of training camp. It’s something Chuck Fletcher thought of before training camp got underway. On Monday night, they were featured together for the first time in a game and looked pretty solid. Tonight, they get another look.
While both Braun and Gostisbehere looked good Monday night, Flyers HC Alain Vigneault was very impressed with how good Shayne Gostisbehere has looked.
“For me, Ghost has come in here in real good conditioning”, said Vigneault. “He spent the summer here with our guys. He’s come to camp with a great attitude. His first game I thought defensively he was real good. I thought he was real good going back for pucks. I think he’s in a real good place mentally and a real good place physically”.
Gostisbehere, who last year had a season to forget, will be playing his fifth season for the Orange and Black. Gostisbehere not only struggled defensively last year, but he also struggled offensively. Last season, Gostisbehere put up a total of 37 points (9 goals, 28 assists) which was the lowest point total of his career. Of course, Ghosts number one priority is defense, but if the Flyers powerplay wants to get back on track, the offense will have to be on his mind too. It’s good to hear things are looking up for the 5’11”,184 lb defenseman. Alain Vigneault is impressed and that’s something that should excite Flyers fans.
2nd: van Riemsdyk-Frost-Voracek
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre