It’s almost time to pack away the season.
The Philadelphia Flyers dropped both games to the Buffalo Sabres over Easter weekend. Both games featured an early lead by the Orange and Black. They couldn’t maintain either advantage, losing in regulation on back-to-back nights.
Surrendering four goals in the second period on Saturday was painful. The Flyers lost, 4-3. Then, on Sunday, the Sabres powerplay kept going to work. An undisciplined brand of hockey made a bad team look worse. Philadelphia dropped the weekend rubber match, 5-3.
Tonight, the Flyers hope to find a victory at the Scotiabank Arena. They’re 0-1-0 this season against the Toronto Maple Leafs, previously losing 6-3.
Toronto Maple Leafs (50-20-6; 106pts)
Auston Matthews (undisclosed,) Jake Muzzin (undisclosed,) Ondrej Kase (concussion,) Rasmus Sandin (knee,) and Petr Mrazek (groin) are unavailable for tonights’ clash versus the Philadelphia Flyers. In the aforementioned 6-3 win over the Flyers, Matthews scored.
Jack Campbell (29-9-5, 2.71GAA, 91.2%SV) took the starter’s crease at practice. He’s 2-2-0 versus the Flyers in his career, performing close to his metrics for this season. It’ll be a stubborn test for Philadelphia.
Mark Giordano (53.9%CF, 124BLK, 42GV, -15) is improving his season metrics since his trade from the Seattle Kraken to the Maple Leafs. It isn’t surprising that his metrics are improving on a better team, but this comparison is: his metrics are similar to Ivan Provorov in 2019-2020. Watch Giordano tonight and watch Provorov. Giordano is more refined. Provorov needs Ryan Ellis to be healthy, which critically handicaps the Flyers’ defense.
Philadelphia Flyers (23-42-11; 57pts)
Cam Atkinson (lower body,) Patrick Brown (upper body,) Cam York (lower body,) Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body,) Nick Seeler (lower body,) Carter Hart (lower body,) Sean Couturier (back,) and Ellis (lower body) are unavailable on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Before the puck drops, the Philadelphia Flyers have their backs against the ropes in a war of attrition.
Martin Jones (10-16-3, 3.51GAA, 89.8%SV) will start. He’s 8-2-1 against the Maple Leafs in his career, grossly outperforming his overall metrics in 2021-2022. Perhaps he has a favorable matchup tonight in Toronto.
Kevin Connauton (45.7%CF, 71HIT, 16GV, -2) earns the spotlight. On a defense where just about nothing works, Connauton built a case to fill a possible seventh defenseman role for 2021-2022. He can play either side of the puck, clearly providing defensive depth. We’ve witnessed his contributions as a forward, too! A veteran hand like Connauton to help develop prospects is worth a second opinion ahead of the offseason.
Mark Giordano o1.5SOG (-186)
TOR moneyline (-450)
TOR wins by 2 (+475)
Exact Score Prediction (+2000): Flyers 3, Maple Leafs 5
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)