Philadelphia Flyers

With some big adjustments made, Flyers look to extinguish the Flames

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Losing to the Dallas Stars doesn’t feel good. On the scoreboard, the Philadelphia Flyers lost by three. It felt a little worse, especially coming off the high of defeating the best team in the NHL. Then, we learn that Ryan Ellis is unavailable.

The Calgary Flames are coming off of a shutout victory versus the Ottawa Senators. What a coincidence! The Flames blanked the Flyers earlier this season. Since then, something’s changed about Calgary. They’re 2-2-3 since that shutout victory versus Philadelphia.

Against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Flyers proved they’re able to beat anyone in the league. It’s the second time they’ll see the Flames this season. Darryl Sutter had an answer for every one of Alain Vigneault’s plans back on October 30th, 2021.

Calgary is a borderline elite NHL team this season. They benefit from a few key mismatches, including Oskar Lindblom out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.

Vigneault will send out a lineup that’s changed a bit since the end of October, and it could change how he approaches the Flames.

Darryl’s Inferno

Overall, the Calgary Flames are a top ten team in the NHL. In the league standings, they rank ninth. They crack the league’s power rankings due to their sixth-ranked offense and second-ranked defense. On special teams, they’re as impressive. A tenth-ranked powerplay and eighth-ranked penalty kill make it difficult for even the most disciplined teams to win.

Matthew Tkachuk is playing better hockey than any of the Philadelphia Flyers forwards. He and Andrew Mangiapane contribute as many points as Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux but rank third and fourth in team scoring. Who is in front of them? Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau.

Sean Monahan is another key contributor on special teams with Tkachuk. Those two stand out as powerplay threats against the Flyers’ penalty kill. They’ve scored most of their goals on the man advantage, including one for each of them previously.

Philadelphia was heavily outplayed in the first and second period previously against the Flames. Calgary was successful from the left faceoff circle and netfront.

If the Flames follow their previous blueprint, they’ll look to pick on Travis Sanheim or move Ivan Provorov far enough from the goal post to set up one-timers on the crease.

Tentative Lineup:

A Philadelphia Fly-By

One thing that favors the Philadelphia Flyers is the lack of quality results over the last five games for the Calgary Flames. The Flyers could catch the Flames slipping.

This season, Philadelphia hasn’t lost back-to-back games. Right now, they’re spinning their wheels, hoping to find traction at home. Finding traction by avenging a shutout loss would do wonders for team culture.

It’s just tonight is a less than favorable matchup.

Missing Ryan Ellis on a week-to-week status and scratching a healthy Oskar Lindblom is a big deal. Alain Vigneault believes the scoring will come for Lindblom and that benching him is a way to reset his game. By benching Lindblom, Vigneault slides Derick Brassard to 3C, with Scott Laughton taking the 3LW role. Kevin Hayes remains in the lineup after coming back early against the Dallas Stars, but Travis Konecny stays on the third line, swapped with James van Riemsdyk. Konecny could benefit from a line change mismatch if Tyler Pitlick is indeed out for a second straight game.

Defensively, the Flyers are about as healthy as they’ve been all season long. It’s not encouraging to say that, knowing Ellis’ unavailability. Vigneault sent the same defensive unit against Calgary before. The results could improve if the 5v5 compete level is more disciplined.

Tentative Lineup:

Prediction

I believe this game will be closer than previously because both teams already test each other in 2021-2022. Alain Vigneault is one of the best NHL coaches in making adjustments. With the cards dealt this season in terms of injuries, being on the cusp of a playoff position isn’t bad. Do I think the Philadelphia Flyers can get one over on the Calgary Flames? Unfortunately, not tonight.

Flames win, 3-2.

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Eric is a University of Delaware graduate with a degree in English. While in school, he began writing for different publications such as The Highlight Network, Amps and Greenscreens, and he did color commentary for the University of Delaware Men's and Women's lacrosse teams throughout the 2013 season as an alumni. Prior to being featured with Philly Sports Network, he began a pro-wrestling podcast with a childhood friend called the Totally Over Podcast. As an avid sports die-hard for all things Philadelphia, Eric is also a proud supporter of West Virginia University.

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