Game Preview: Flyers at Blue Jackets

Flyers' Cam Atkinson
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 20: Philadelphia Flyers Right Wing Cam Atkinson (89) skates with the puck during the first 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)

‘A New Era of Orange’ begins on the road at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH. The Philadelphia Flyers open up the 2023-2024 season on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Daniel Briere and John Tortorella assessed the roster during the 2023 Flyers Training Camp and NHL Preseason. A generous mix of youth and veterans reshaped leadership for the second phase of the rebuild. Tortorella felt the locker room needed to change from a season ago.

“We talk about rebuilding; I thought we were doing it last year. Right from the get-go, I felt our locker room needed to change. This is a huge part that’s already started in this year’s rebuild.”

John Tortorella; 10/7/2023

Tonight, the Flyers make their first regular season impression under new management.

Columbus Blue Jackets

A look at the lineup reminds me how the Blue Jackets have an embarrassment of riches to dress their defensive pairings. Then, there are forwards like Cole Sillinger, Adam Fantilli, and Kirill Marchenko, whom Pascal Vincent praised. He said Fantilli is mature, mentally and physically, then praised Marchenko because of his love of hockey, a very coachable prospect.

“What we’ve seen so far is, he’s [Fantilli] not a typical 18-year-old. [He’s] very mature, both mentally and physically, and he’s got a chip on his shoulder. He fits the DNA of what we’re looking to create for this team; for this organization. He’s got skills; he can skate, he’s a powerful skater. His mindset [is] without any entitlement but a lot of confidence. Not cocky whatsoever, but very confident about his ability, his future, and where he fits here.”

Pascal Vincent; 10/11/2023

Ivan Provorov will compete versus the Flyers for the first time in his NHL career. His answer omitted context about his final seasons in Philadelphia, to which Tortorella replied, “I heard some of the comments. I’ll leave it alone.”

“It is what it is. At the end of the day, I can’t take those three years back. Overall, I think a lot of people didn’t really like the way the last three years went over there.”

Ivan Provorov; 10/12/2023

Here’s the tentative lineup for the Columbus Blue Jackets, per Jeff Svoboda: 




Philadelphia Flyers

Rasmus Ristolainen will not be in the lineup. He practiced this week, and Briere was hopeful he would be available for the season debut, but Tortorella confirmed he would not be dressing.

“Originally, we all thought it was something very minor. Now we’re doing more tests on it to find out exactly what’s gonna’ happen. I’m still waiting.”

Daniel Briere; 10/10/2023

Cam Atkinson and Sean Couturier return from injuries. They missed a ton of hockey, a year at a minimum. Atkinson didn’t like the way the last season went for him, but had a very optimistic take, contrary to Provorov:

“It sucked last year. I wasn’t a part of it. Getting me and Coots [Couturier] back; some leadership, and guys who play in all situations to lead the way; try to bring these young guys into the fight.”

Cam Atkinson; 10/12/2023

Here’s the tentative lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers, per Charlie O’Connor: 




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Flyers (+100) 
Blue Jackets (-120) 
Cam Atkinson over 0.5pts (+105) 
Johnny Gaudreau over 2.5 SOG (-150)

Game Information

You can watch the Flyers open their 2023-2024 season on the road against the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The broadcast is available on 97.5 the Fanatic and Flyers Radio 24/7. The puck drops at 7pm.

(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)