Thursday night the Blues head to the city of brotherly love to take on the Flyers. This is a precursor for next Thursday's tilt at the Scottrade Center. The Flyers have been strong ta home posting a record of 18-8-6 while the Blues have been extremely strong on the road going 18-10-3 and finding ways to salvage points like the game in Vancouver.
Both teams have been middle of the road in their last 10 games with the Flyers going 4-3-3 and the Blues going 6-3-1 but the Flyers just recently got number one goalie Steve Mason back from injury. If the game goes to a shootout, one would think the Blues hold a big advantage as the Flyers are only 3-7 in shootouts while the Blues are 8-3.
Elliott will get the start after the overblown musical goalie ride in Vancouver. He has strong numbers against the Flyers going 5-2 with a 2.48 GAA and a 92% save percentage. This season Elliott is 9-4-1 vs Eastern Conference teams with a slightly higher GAA and save percentage though he has been stronger on the road than at home with a 0.07 lower GAA and a 0.005% higher save percentage.
The Flyers have a depleted back end having traded away Braydon Coburn and with Nick Grossman's injury. With the newly acquired Gudas also hurt, the Flyers defensive corps isn't very intimidating. I expect them to dress Mark Streit, former blue Carlo Colaiacovo, Luke Schenn, under-achieving Andrew MacDonald, former Ranger cast off Michael Del Zotto, and Nick Schultz. Not surprisingly, their penalty kill has struggled all year and sits 28th in the league. Up front, the Flyers offense is having trouble scoring, averaging almost half a goal per game less than the Blues. The Flyers are exceling on the power play, ranked 3rd in the league.
Blues newcomers got their numbers with Jokinen taking Bill Guerin's #13, Michalek going itwh #6, and Robert Bortuzzo settling on #41. It's unclear as to whether or not Michalek skated on his own today. It will be interesting to see if any of the new players get a crack at the lineup on Thursday.
Other news and notes
- TSN moved the Blues up to number 1 in the power rankings. What? Have then been watching lately? Is this somehow based on the amazing amount of points they accumulated while playing poorly? No. According to them, it is because the Blues added a player who hopefully will come back sometime this year but may not (hence the conditional third rounder in the trade). Temporary confusion caused by Phil Kessel? http://www.tsn.ca/blues-r...l-power-rankings-1.222267
- This will be Tarasenko and Lehtera's first game against the Flyers
- Any of you who have not watched the Phil Kessel interview, it's worth a few minutes. He may be being a bit of a crybaby but I can appreciate what he is saying. If it was me, I would have given them some specifics but good for him for at least standing up for a teammate, talking about how he cares, etc. Any time an athlete doesn't give you the canned answer, you never know what you might get but at least it's more interesting. See Brett Hull for proof. It's even more interesting if the answer is only "you know why I'm here".