Look for the Flyers to get a boost as Oskar Lindblom visited practice on Wednesday. It was the first time he saw his teammates since he started his cancer treatments earlier this week. The Flyers are coming off of a 3-2 win over the NHL’s best team, the Washington Capitals. They host the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night at 7:00 PM.
The Flyers struggled on their last two road trips, having a record of 1-7-1. The first of these road trips was when they just found out about Lindblom’s diagnosis. They lost all three games. It took a visit from Lindblom at the Flyers Pre-game skate to boost their morale. The Flyers then went on and won the next four games. Enter the next disastrous road trip where they lost five of six. With a pretty rough schedule for the next two months, I expect the same boost from Lindblom’s visit.
Head Coach Alain Vigneault
At the end of practice, Alain Vigneault was visibly happy. His contagious smile couldn’t contain his affection for the Swedish star.
“He’s looking real good. The guys call him sunshine in that movie, ‘Remember the Titans.’ You know the quarterback, he does look like him He’s got the same beautiful smile today. This is the first time he’s been around since we were on the road for twelve days. Treatments are going well. The best part of my day so far!“
When Vigneault was asked about how the team reacted to Lindblom, “We can’t shake hands or hug today, but it’s good for him to be around the boys and good for everybody to see him in real good spirits.”
Home is where the Hart is
Carter Hart looks to get the start. His record on the road versus at home is noticeably different. Hart has started in 30 games this season half of which have been on the road. The splits are considerable.
At home, Hart has been dominant. He owns a record of 12-1-2 with a 1.52 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. He has backed the Flyers to one of the best home records in the NHL.
On the road is a different story as Hart and the Flyers have struggled. Hart’s record on the road is 2-9-1 with a 4.01 GAA and a .850 save percentage. As the Flyers look to contend for a postseason spot, Hart will have to figure out his road issues.
The next two months will be a tough stretch for the Flyers. They play 20 games through February, 14 of which will be against teams vying for a playoff spot. Eight of those games will be on the road. Hopefully, the Flyers can figure out the road woes as they push for a playoff spot.
Mandatory Credit – Alex McIntyre