It’s safe to say that the 2020-21 campaign has become a forgettable one for the Philadelphia Flyers. What was once expected to be a season of progression after Alain Vigneault’s first campaign in Philly resulted playoff berth, has turned into one of regression, question marks, and disappointment. With that said, the Flyers have one last chance to go out and prove themselves in front of their home fans in a matchup against the Devils.
Last time out
Vigneault’s men come into this game on the back of a 2-1 overtime loss to the Capitals. Alex Lyon looked as though he was going to shutout the Caps after previously allowing five goals to them. With forty seconds to go, Washington tied things up before going on to best the young goalie in overtime.
It’s likely that Brian Elliott will get the nod in net tonight though and he’ll be hoping to end his own season on a high. Lyon has proven he may have enough upside to backup Carter Hart and Elliott’s contract expires at the end of the season. The veteran has been a brilliant mentor to Hart but this may well be his final rodeo in a Flyers uniform. If it is, it would be nice to see him end it with a win.
The young guns
Alex Lyon has been fun to watch over the past few weeks as he continues to get NHL experience under his belt. He hasn’t been the only one doing so, however. Wade Allison actually found the back of the net twice when facing the Capitals on Friday. He’s riding a three-game point streak coming into tonight’s finale and has five points in total through 12 NHL appearances, four of which have been goals. Lighting the lamp one more time would be a great way for the 23-year-old to prove he’s ready for a full-time role next season.
The man drawing all of the attention for now though will be Cam York. He’s given fans something to truly be excited about in an otherwise dismal year after being called up just last week. The 20-year-old hasn’t registered his first NHL point just yet, but that hasn’t stopped him from injecting a real sense of life into a lacklustre defense.
Know your Flyers enemy
The Devils, like the Flyers, have nothing to play for tonight outside of pride. They sit one spot and eleven points beneath Philadelphia in the East and have split the season series with the Flyers three-apiece. That means tonight’s finale will determine the overall victor from the seven-game batch.
The last time the teams clashed resulted in a 4-1 win for the Devils, but since then, they’ve gone 2-2 and conceded 12 goals in that span, with 5 of them coming against the Islanders in their most recent game. The Flyers may be licking their lips at the idea of ending their season the right way against a team who are flailing defensively.
The Flyers have a scoring competition
Not that these metrics really matter, but there is an internal competition to see who will lead the Flyers in scoring for the 2020-21 season. Going into tonight’s game, Jake Voracek leads the charge with 43 points and a team-high 34 goals, but JvR is breathing down his neck with 42 points (16 goals, 26 assists). Claude Giroux has a near identical line and sits just one assist & point behind James van Riemsdyk, meaning that any one of these three can take home scoring honours with a big individual performance tonight.
Voracek finished third in scoring last year and in 2018. Claude Giroux finished atop the team that season, just as he did in 2017 after Jake pipped him to the post in 2016. Who will be wearing the metaphorical crown come the end of the night?