There is some hope for the Philadelphia Flyers as they enter their second game of the 2022-2023 preseason. In their 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins, the Flyers showed refreshing signs of improvement.
Ian Laperriere will helm the bench for the last time this preseason, and the hotly-contested Chuck Fletcher will decide the lineup. The next two games will feature the Philadelphia coaching staff, sans John Tortorella. Tortorella will take his position as the bench boss for the final two preseason games ahead of the home opener versus the New Jersey Devils.
Already marred with injury, the Flyers had a scare with Carter Hart, listed day-to-day. He did return for the morning skate, working side-to-side in the crease. Bobby Brink also performed stick handling exercises at the morning skate. Tomorrow, there will be an update on Sean Couturier, per Fletcher.
However, it’s the preseason. There are many young players Fletcher and Tortorella need to monitor. Will Philadelphia carry their momentum following a victory over the Bruins? Troy Grosenick will start between the pipes and Samuel Ersson will enter in the third period. Here’s how the Flyers measure to the Buffalo Sabres:
The Sabres, in terms of experience and age, have a slight advantage over the youthful Flyers. They’re fielding a veteran roster for the first time this year.
Forwards: Rousek, Biro, Okposo, Girgensons, Mittelstadt, Cederqvist, Skinner, Olischefski, Rosen, Weissbach, Thompson, Tuch, Savoie
Defensemen: Davies, Jokiharju, Pilut, Samuelsson, Power, Dahlin, Lyubushkin, Lindgren
Goaltenders: Warm, Anderson, Subban
Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson will be on the top-line, to no surprise, with Linus Weissbach. Thompson totaled 68 points (38G, 30A) last season, while Skinner notched 63 points (33G, 30A) himself. Don Granato made it very clear that the duo isn’t going anywhere:
“I can pretty comfortably say I see those guys staying together. There’s chemistry there, but they work together. They strategize together in between games, after practices so they’re really dialed in.”Don Granato; 9/26/2022
Keep an eye on Alex Tuch on the third line, working with Lukas Rousek. Tuch is a versatile and big winger, posting 38 points (12G, 26A) last season. Rousek is a speedy playmaker who had an exhibition shootout goal following a Buffalo victory over the Washington Capitals, 4-3.
Ilya Lyubushkin will size up against Philadelphia. A physical defender, he will challenge the Flyers’ forwards, especially in the defensive zone as he walks the blue line.
The expected Flyers lines, per Jordan Hall:
N. Cates-J. Cates-Marody
Again, the Cates Brothers will ride the same line, this time with Cooper Marody. Noah and Jackson Cates account for every Philadelphia goal in the preseason en route to a 2-1 victory at home. Versus Boston, they shared a line with Tyson Foerster.
Morgan Frost also appeared in the first preseason game versus the Bruins, securing an assist as the Flyers finished 1/5 on the powerplay. He logged more than twenty minutes on the ice, won 60% of his faceoffs, and blocked a hard shot in the third period to go along with the powerplay assist.
Isaac Ratcliffe had a brief stint in Philadelphia last season. A physical winger, he finds his home on the fourth line with two-way dynamo Elliot Desnoyers and fan-favorite Zack MacEwen. Another forward aiming to impress is Adam Brooks. He signed a two-year, two-way contract after bouncing around on three NHL franchises (the Montreal Canadiens, Vegas Golden Knights, and Winnipeg Jets) in 2021-2022.
Travis Konecny and James van Riemsdyk draw attention as the duo to watch on the first line. Konecny led the Flyers in team scoring last season racking up 52 points (16G, 36A.) On the powerplay, van Riemsdyk demonstrates an effective net-front presence on the power play, leading Philadelphia in powerplay goals consecutively since 2020-2021.
The puck drops at 7pm. A viewable stream of the game will be presented by the Buffalo Sabres’ website. To listen, tune into 97.5 The Fanatic or Flyers Radio 24/7.
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)