The Time: 7:00 PM EST
The Broadcast: TV- MSG+, Radio - 660 AM WFAN
The Last Devils Game: While Martin Brodeur made his return last night, The Devils D was humiliated and embarassed and allowed the Joffrey Lupul and the Toronto Maple Leafs to beat them 5-3.
The Last Flyers Game: The Flyers put up three quick goals on Ryan Miller and were able to on for a 3-2 victory.
The Goal: Keep out of the box and control play. The Devils took a ton of penalties the last time the two teams met. While the Flyers didn't score on the PP, they were able to gain momentum which prevented the Devils from getting a lot of time in their offensive zone.The Flyers put the puck on net alot, they're PP is ticking and they don't exactly have consistent goaltending at times. Throw the puck at Bryzgalov alot and don't let him get comfortable. Also, the Defense has to step up, after last night's atrocious performance, the Flyers offense is just as potent as the Leafs offense
More thoughts on tonight's matchup after the jump. If you want a Flyers based perspective on tonight's game, check out Broad Street Hockey.
Like the Devils, the Flyers have had some recent injury troubles. Flyers top defenseman and captain Chris Pronger will not play tonight as he's still suffering from an eye injury. Additionally, rookie center Brayden Schenn will not be in the lineup as he suffered a broken foot last week.
Of course, Pronger's injury is good news for the Devils, as they will end up facing a very overworked defensive core that's going to be overworked because of the team's protection of Erik Gustafsson or because they don't trust Matt Walker at all (side note: lol the Flyers still employ Matt Walker). The Devils will likely see a lot of Matt Carle, Pronger's regular defensive partner and Andrej Meszaros at even strength, and both can move the puck quite well and are decent at defense. Their second pairing of Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn can do the same. Their third pairing, which will likely be Andreas Lilja and either one of Walker or Gustafsson (please be Walker).
The Flyers goaltending has been woefully inconsistent. Ilya Bryzgalov may have shut out the Devils in the first game of the season, but at times he's looked like a complete sieve (sound familiar?). He had his two worst performances this season, letting in 5 against the Habs and then letting in four in relief of Sergei Bobrovsky against the Jets. After that, Bryzgalov had two good performances against the Jets and Sabres. For all we know we could see a bad goaltending performance or the same guy that shut the Devils out. The Devils might face Bobrovsky seeing as the Flyers played last night.
Regardless, the Flyers defense is the lesser of the two issues. The Flyers offense is the 2nd best in the league in terms of goals, and they've got the second best scorer in the league, Claude Giroux. He's shooting around 21%, so like Phil Kessel and the Leafs last game, there will be regression- however it's not guaranteed tonight. Of course, while the Devils did stop Kessel from scoring, they let his linemate Joffrey Lupul walk all over them. Giroux's got two competent linemates- Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell. The Flyers also possess some good secondary scoring options in Danny Briere, James van Reimsdyk, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds.
Okay, now that i've talked enough about the opposition, it's time to address the Devils and their horrendous performance last night. First off, the defense was absolutely atrocious. While I'm not too sure if DeBoer plans on shaking up the D, I don't think that will help. Henrik Tallinder and Andy Greene, who weren't playing badly to start the season had horrendous games. Bryce Salvador hasn't been playing well, and Anton Volchenkov isn't doing much to help justify being the team's highest paid defenseman. If Greene and Tallinder play like they did last night, Giroux and company will be on the scoresheet for sure. And that's a bad thing.
As for the Forwards, they weren't that bad last night, however I think it might be time to separate Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. TG tweets that it might be a possibility. Patrik Elias has been the guy who's been carrying the Devils offense, with 9 points. Kovalchuk hasn't scored in 6 games, and he could definitely benefit from playing with Elias and breaking that goalless drought. The rest of the forwards should probably stay the same, although Cam Janssen might stay in just because the Devils would need the "beef" vs the Flyers. The third line wasn't that great, being on the ice for quite a few of the Leafs goals and Mattias Tedenby's stupid goaltender interference call. The fourth line can't do much, so expect Kovalchuk and Parise to get split up for tonight's game.
Really, the only thing the team can do after last night's game is re-group. The issue with the team last night had less to do with the team the Devils faced, but more to do with the team playing like hot garbage last night. Hopefully the Devils have some motivation from being embarassed by the Flyers on opening night and do something. Because really, after last night's performance, losing to the Flyers is something I do not want to see. And being in the midst of a four game losing streak to start the month of November is not a great way to inspire confidence for the team right now.
What do you guys think of the Flyers? Do you think they're a jumbled mess like they were expected to be? Do you guys think the Devils can rebound from last night's stinker vs the Leafs? Leave your thoughts and answers in the comments. Thanks for reading.