The Flyers are slated for their third game of the season Wednesday night against the Bruins. This will be the only meeting out of the three that will be held at Wells Fargo Center.
It s a rarity to see the Flyers open up a season at home — but to also have a four-game home stand to kick things off? Even more rare. Yes, the Flyers did start their season at home last year, but given how drastically it was affected due to COVID-19, do we really count it? Before this, the last time the Flyers opened up a season on home ice dates back to October 2, 2013 … for a single game. And here’s the kicker — before this season, the longest home stand to start a season dates back to 1997-98, for three games.
While it may not seem like too big of a deal, this is something the Flyers need to capitalize on. Even though they lost the home opener to the Canucks, there was a clear momentum shift in the winding minutes of that third period. That momentum picked right up against the Kraken, as the Flyers played one of their most thrilling games in years. At this rate, the energy at the Wells Fargo Center should be off the rails when the puck drops against the Bruins.
All signs point to yes for Rasmus Ristolainen to make his Flyers debut Wednesday night. Not only was he paired with Travis Sanheim during practice on Tuesday, he said he feels good to go. After having to sit out against the Kraken, I’m sure he’s ready to join his teammates.
Head coach Alain Vigneault noted that he wants to check in with the trainers Wednesday morning before officially giving him the green light.
The Flyers may have another fresh face on the ice against the Bruins. Zack MacEwen had been waiting for the approval of his U.S. visa for six days, after the Flyers claimed him off of waivers from the Canucks.
“I was kind of in limbo there, waiting to see when it was going to get approved,” MacEwen said Tuesday. “Trying to stay ready physically and trying to wrap your head around what’s ahead of you. It gave me a good amount of time to prepare and get ready.”
The Flyers have already established quite the physical presence on the ice — something they have been severely lacking for the better half of a decade. Once they tack on the additions of Ristolainen and MacEwen? Now that’s one heck of a roster.
A night off for Hart
Vigneault noted following Tuesday’s practice that Martin Jones will get his first taste of the regular season against the Bruins. Jones did see Boston in the preseason and it was a less than ideal performance, allowing three goals.
While the Flyers are only a couple of games into the season, Hart certainly earned a night off after his stellar performance against the Kraken. Following a shaky season opener, it felt like the 23-year-old goaltender settled in and is ready to roll. Now, a very important question looms: will the Flyers have a solid backup goaltender?
— Wednesday night’s matchup will be James van Riemsdyk’s 800th career NHL game.
— Travis Konecny, Joel Farabee and Claude Giroux have goals in back-to-back games.
— Monday night’s win against the Kraken marked the 50th of Hart’s career. He is the youngest Flyer in franchise history (23 years, 66 days) to reach this achievement.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre