The Flyers continue their dreadful season as they welcome the Blackhawks to the Wells Fargo Center for a 3PM faceoff today. This is the first time the teams meet this season. The game will be a nationally televised game on ABC.
Let me start by saying I really don’t like the Blackhawks. This not only stems from the 2010 finals and subsequent failures of the organization we learned about that season since then. But primarily because of ‘the Patricks.’ Patrick Kane should have been a career Flyers…thanks for nothing Draft Lottery. Also, the Blackhawks took advantage of the Flyers giving up on Patrick Sharp. For this, Sharp, a former third-round pick, became an all-star and three-time Stanley Cup Champion.
The Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks are slightly better than the Flyers in the standings. They come into the contest having just beaten the high-powered Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in overtime. The win was significant as the Hawks welcomed back Duncan Keith and it was on the night they honored former blueliner, Nik Hjalmarsson.
Their record of 20-27-8 (48 points), puts them 7th in NHL Central Division. In their last ten games, they are 4-5-1. During those games, they allowed 37 goals and allowed five or more in five games.
The Blackhawks will be led by their top three in points, Kane, Alex Debrincat, and off-season acquisition Seth Jones. Kane has been heating up as of late, averaging 1.58 PPG since January 25th. However, Chicago appears to be sellers at the deadline as Marc-Andre Fluery’s name has surfaced as being on the trading block.
After halting another losing streak against the Washington Capitals last Saturday, they have opened up yet another two-game losing streak, dropping games to the Oilers and Minnesota Wild. Their dismal record of 16-28-10 (42 points) puts them 8th in NHL Metropolitan Division and 29th in the NHL.
The Flyers do hold an advantage as they go into the game, having beaten the Blackhawks in five straight. The Flyers also haven’t lost to Chicago that much at home.
The Flyers are led by Claude Giroux, Cam Atkinson, and Travis Konecny. However, it has really been the recent play of Scott Laughton and Gerry Mayhew that has been noticeable. In fact, the line of Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, and Konecny has been looking good of late. As for Mayhew, he has a high motor, and appears, at times, to be the fastest Flyer on the ice. Mayhew has made the most out of a bad situation and has been one of the surprises this season.
As some updates on injury news, Kevin Hayes is making his return to the lineup. Hayes, who has been battling injuries all season, will be playing his first game since January 17th, and today will be only his 21st appearance this season. Wade Allison has also been activated and loaned to the Phantoms.
Prediction: Another Flyers Loss
Heading into this game, the Flyers are -120 moneyline favorites, with the over/under set at an even six goals.
I predict another Flyers loss as the Hawks take this one 3-1 with Debrincat leading the way. The Flyers lone goal will come courtesy of Travis Sanheim.
No matter how you’d like to bet, you can get a $50 risk-free bet for this game by signing up to DraftKings Sportsbook here
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire