Tonight, the puck drops on a new season.
The slate is clean. Nothing from a season ago matters. All the focus resides on the present, improving daily, and unearthing which players will contribute to the rebuild.
Before the Philadelphia Flyers step onto home ice, they’re on the same ground as the New Jersey Devils. More than anything, John Tortorella is ready to get his team on the ice to play. A division rival on night one is a critical test. Tonight, “the real stuff” begins.
“Let’s play. That’s when everything starts coming together as far as accountability, conflict, good stuff, bad stuff, music on, music off, lousy days, good days; when all the games start being played.”John Tortorella; 10/12/2022
Here’s to the opening night of the 2022-2023 Flyers season. How might they measure versus the Devils?
New Jersey Devils
Here’s the projected lineup for New Jersey, per Amanda Stein:
Jack Hughes will be busy down the middle. Nico Hischier is a game-time decision. If Hischier is out of the lineup, expect Hughes to be on the ice more often. In thirteen total games against Philadelphia, he’s looking for his first goal. Tonight could be his night to secure that stat.
Mackenzie Blackwood, in his career, is a matchup nightmare. It wasn’t until last December, his most recent start against the Flyers, that he surrendered a regulation defeat. In his first ten starts against Philadelphia, Blackwood was 8-0-2.
Defensively, New Jersey leaked the on the right side. That side of the defense fancies to be the strong side, additionally occupying most of the penalty kill. Damon Severson serves the first penalty kill unit. Dougie Hamilton and John Marino are backing him on the second penalty kill unit.
Here’s the projected lineup for the Flyers, per Olivia Reiner:
Morgan Frost, here is your chance. Residing in the top six, he has a grand opportunity to establish himself in Philadelphia. It’ll be critical for Frost to start hot this season, creating chemistry throughout the top nine. He’ll center a line with James van Riemsdyk and Wade Allison. Allison brings energy, van Riemsdyk stations net-front, and Frost uses his newfound creativity and confidence to generate scoring plays.
Absent from the lineup is Rasmus Ristolainen, who performed well most recently versus the Devils last December. In his role is another defenseman who was sturdy during that same contest. Justin Braun pairs with Travis Sanheim as Ristolainen recovers from a “body injury,” as put by Tortorella. As the defense shifts, Egor Zamula and Nick Seeler will need additional help clearing the zone to keep the puck away from Carter Hart.
Tortorella cited an added emphasis on how his team plays in front of Hart. They have to make his night easier, knocking the traffic off the crease and preventing plays before the attack settles. Hart has a healthy line versus New Jersey, touting a 2.02GAA with a 92.9%SV and a 4-3-0 record.
Place Your Bets
Moneyline: Philadelphia Flyers (+105)
Anytime Score: Jack Hughes (+170)
Score Prediction: 3-2, Flyers in OT (+1100)
The Philadelphia Flyers versus New Jersey Devils will be on ESPN+, and you can listen to the broadcast on 97.5 the Fanatic. Faceoff’s scheduled for 7pm.
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)