The Flyers Return From the Break, Take on the Kraken

Flyers' Martin Jones
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 20: Philadelphia Flyers Goalie Martin Jones (35) during the third period of a National Hockey League game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers on October 20, 2021, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

It almost feels like the hockey and COVID Gods have it out for the Flyers. After neverending weeks of monotony and losing, the Flyers fired Alain Vigneault. Mike Yeo picked up and has led the Flyers to a 4-2-1 record since taking the helm. This includes points in six straight games, with five of those being wins. All of the sudden, Philadelphia looked like a whole new team.

Then… COVID struck. Mix in the Christmas break, and it’s been a long ten-day break since the Flyers defeated the Senators on December 18th.

Now, the Flyers take their first trip to Seattle since the Kraken have named it their hometown to kick off a four-game Western road trip. Back in October, the Flyers defeated Seattle 6-1 in the second game of the season. However, Philadelphia finds themselves at +116 moneyline underdogs according to the bookmakers out in Vegas.

Puck drop is slated for 10PM.

Injury/COVID report

Flyers

Good News and Bad News

Good news: Both Kevin Hayes and Morgan Frost were brought back from the COVID list.

Bad news: Carter Hart, Sean Couturier, Scott Laughton, Derick Brassard and Ryan Ellis are all in COVID protocol. Nate Thompson (shoulder surgery) is also out.

Max Willman returned the other day, and he’ll likely slot into the fourth line with Patrick Brown and Zack MacEwen. With the bulk of the Flyers’ depth still out, though, Gerry Mayhew was recalled to play on the third line with James vanRiemsdyk and Morgan Frost.

Gerry Mayhew is a career AHL-er, with the majority being with the Iowa Wild (Minnesota). He’s played in 17 total NHL games, where he’s tallied two goals and one assist with the Wild. Tonight, he’ll be making his 18th career start just two days before his 29th birthday. Mayhew leads the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms in scoring (nine goals, 16 points in 24 points) this season.

Kraken

It’s been announced that Brandon Tanev will miss the rest of the season for the Kraken due to knee surgery, being a big loss to their high energy depth.

Along with Tanev being out, Seattle has their own laundry list of names in COVID protocols. Forwards Ryan Donato and Mason Appleton, as well as defensemen Adam Larsson and Vince Dunn are out for tonight.

Prediction

Martin Jones will get the start for Philadelphia tonight. On the season, the backup tendie is 5-4-1 with a .907 save percentage and a 3.33 GAA. He’ll likely be opposed by Philipp Grubauer. Grubauer has struggled since finding himself in Seattle, which makes sense considering the difference in talent in front of him. So far this season, he’s 7-12-3 with a 3.29 GAA and .882 save percentage.

It’s interesting to me that the Flyers are underdogs tonight, as they have looked great since Yeo has taken over. Firing AV seemed to be the spark that the locker room needed. If I’ve learned anything in my time following Flyers’ hockey, it’s to ride them while they’re hot. After seeing live what they did to Seattle in October, I know that they match up tremendously well against them.

It won’t be as dominant as a couple of months ago, but I’d ride the Flyers tonight. Expect a 4-2 victory in some #FlyersAfterDark.

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire

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