The Flyers travel to Washington tonight for a crucial matchup with the Capitals. Both teams are reeling and going to come out of the gate desperate. The Flyers need to match that intensity level and not just weather the storm. These 2 points up for grabs tonight are key if they want to stay in the playoff race for the Atlantic division.
Heavy is the Jersey with the 'C'
Claude Giroux has not lived up to his expectations so far this season posting just 4 points in the first 7 games.Some people may want to say naming him captain has affected his game but that is certainly not the case. He claims he isn't affected by that pressure, injured or ill but just "doesn't like his game." This needs to change quick for the Flyers to have any success. He needs to be the superstar this city saw light up Pittsburgh in the 1st round last spring. The offense is in a major rut and he needs to be the spark that lights this fire. While he is missing Hartnell on his line, Wayne Simmonds has been filling that void nicely with dirty work in front of the net and in the corners.
Then Flyers offense is only producing 2.00 Goals Per Game. This number is unacceptable if they want to make a long run into the playoffs this year. All around they are under-performing and outside of that lone game versus FLA (yes, BUF game had 2 goals disallowed but point is they still didn't count) they have not scored more than 2 goals in a single game. Lavy has shaken up his lines and hopefully this can rally his troops. The Flyers need more production of of 2nd year players Sean Couturier and Braden Schenn if they are going to win games. Coots has played well defensively so far in shutting down opposing teams top lines but he needs to put the puck in the net a bit more. Schenn has looked lost a bit at times this year. It is crucial for him to begin scoring goals in bunches and prove he was worth trading Mike Richards for and keeping here in Philly instead of being traded over the summer.
Ilya Bryzgalov has been nothing short of amazing so far this season. His play has given the Flyers a chance to win every single game. He has made a huge turnaround from the goalie seen last year. He is not giving up soft goals and is bailing out this team late in games when they need big saves. His numbers so far are among the best in the league but the teams record does not reflect that. Bryz has only allowed more than 2 goals ONCE in six games.The offense needs to begin to bail him out big time and start winning games for a change.
I'm predicting a big weekend for the Flyers against the Southeast Division. This team will come together and I think they will finally be able to get some consistent production out of the offense and more solid play from the defense and goaltending.
2/1: Flyers-4 Capitals-1
2/2: Flyers-3 Hurricanes-0
From the Box,