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GDT: Flyers @ Blues

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  • GDT: Flyers @ Blues

    ┬*
    ┬*
    Flyers Gameday: 12/28/16 @ STL, WJC Updates
    December 28, 2016, 9:50 AM ET┬*[77 Comments] ┬*
    Bill Meltzer
    ┬*Philadelphia Flyers Blogger Ľ NHL.com Ľ RSS┬*Ľ┬*Archive┬*Ľ┬*CONTACT
    PREVIEW: FLYERS @ BLUES

    In their first game following a five-night break, Dave Hakstol's Philadelphia Flyers (19-12-4)┬*
    are on the road to take on Ken Hitchcock's St. Louis Blues (18-12-5) on Wednesday night. Game time at the Scottrade Center is 8:00 p.m. ET. The game will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network as its Wednesday Night Rivalry broadcast.

    This is the first of two meetings this season between the interconference teams. The clubs will rematch at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on February 6. Last season, the Flyers swept the season series, winning 4-2 in St. Louis on Dec. 10, 2015. On Dec. 21, Philly skated off with a 4-3 home victory. In both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, the games played in St. Louis saw the teams play to 0-0 ties through 65 minutes before the Blues won via shootout.

    Flyers Outlook

    The Flyers produced a clunker in their final game before their holiday break. The team lost 4-0 to the New Jersey Devils, struggling for energy and losing their discipline. Following a 10-game winning streak, the Flyers went 1-2-1 in their final four games entering the break.

    During the 10-game winning streak, the team averaged 3.50 goals per game while yielding just 2.20 goals per game. However, the Flyers have scored either zero or just one goal in four of their last five games.

    Flyers goaltender Steve Mason, who has started 18 of the last 20 games, left the game in New Jersey after the first period. CSN Philadelphia's Tim Panaccio reported that Mason experienced minor back stiffness. He practiced per normal on Tuesday.

    Fellow goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who has been out since mid-November with a sprained left knee, practiced with the team on Tuesday but is likely out until early January according to Flyers general manager Ron Hextall's injury updates before the holidays. Rookie Anthony Stolarz, who has made two starts and one relief appearance in Nevirth's absence, is still with the team.

    With Michael Raffl dealing with a lower-body injury suffered last week, rookie Taylor Leier skated in his place on the top line at practice on Tuesday. Additionally, veteran defenseman Nick Schultz appears to be returning to the starting lineup with Brandon Manning the likely healthy scratch for Wednesday's game.

    Sean Couturier (knee) is ready to return to the lineup but is sorting through a visa issue. He will most likely be available for Friday's game in San Jose. Matt Read (midsection) and Mark Streit (sprained left shoulder) re-joined practice on Tuesday but are not ready for contact yet.

    Jakub Voracek leads the Flyers with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 35 games. Claude Giroux is second on the team with 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists), while Wayne Simmonds paces the club with 16 goals and eight power play tallies among his 29 points.

    Brayden Schenn is fourth on the Flyers' scoring leaderboard with 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 32 games. He's followed by rookie forward Travis Konecny (four goals, 12 assists), Shayne Gostisbehere (four goals, 12 assists) and the injured Streit (five goals, 11 assists).

    Rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) while dressing in all 35 games. The 19-year-old leads the Flyers in ice time and is already now routinely matched up against other teams' top lines.

    Blues Outlook

    The Blues last played on Dec. 22, dropping a 5-2 road decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning. St. Louis led 2-0 after the first period, and the game was tied 2-2 heading into the third period but the Blues were unable to stop the bleeding. David Perron and Wade Megan scored first-period goals for St. Louis. Jake Allen stopped 27 of 31 shots before Tampa tacked on an empty netter.

    Carter Hutton will get the start in goal against the Flyers. Forward Paul Stastny (upper body injury) is ready to return to the lineup. However, defenseman Robert Bortuzzo remains out of the lineup indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

    Dynamic forward Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues with 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 35 games. He is followed by defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (seven goals, 16 assists, minus-six), forward Jaden Schwartz (12 goals, nine assists), Robby Fabbri (eight goals, 12 assists), and Perron (nine goals, 10 assists).┬*

    Key team stat comparisons┬*(NHL overall ranking)

    Non-shootout goals per game: Flyers 2.94 (T-6th), Blues 2.77 (11th)┬*
    Non-shootout goals against per game: Flyers 2.92 (24th), Blues 2.91 (23rd)
    Power play efficiency: Flyers 22.0% (6th), Blues 21.3% (7th)
    Penalty killing efficiency: Flyers 82.1% (12th), Blues 87.4 (2nd)
    Shots on goal per game: Flyers 31.3 (6th), Blues 28.5 (26th)
    Shots against per game: Flyers 28.9 (8th), Blues 28.1 (5th)
    Faceoff percentage: Flyers 50.4% (12th), Blues 51.5% (7th)


    Projected Lineups┬*(subject to change, will be updated)

    FLYERS

    58 Taylor Leier - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek┬*
    11 Travis Konecny - 10 Brayden Schenn - 17 Wayne Simmonds
    76 Chris VandeVelde - 78 P-E Bellemare - 13 Roman Lyubimov
    25 Nick Cousins - 27 Boyd Gordon - 22 Dale Weise

    9 Ivan Provorov - 47 Andrew MacDonald
    15 Michael Del Zotto- 3 Radko Gudas
    55 Nick Schultz - 53 Shayne Gostisbehere

    35 Steve Mason
    [41 Anthony Stolarz]

    Scratches: Sean Couturier (visa issue), Michal Neuvirth (IR, knee), Matt Read (IR, abdominal area), Mark Streit (shoulder), Michael Raffl (lower-body).

    BLUES

    20 Alex Steen - 12 Jori Lehterń - 91 Vladimir Tarasenko
    17 Jaden Schwartz - 26-Paul Stastny - 57 David Perron
    15 Robby Fabbri - 21 Patrik Berglund - 23 Dmitrij Jaskin
    10 Scottie Upshall - 28 Kyle Brodziak - 75 Ryan Reaves

    6 Joel Edmundson - 27 Alex Pietrangelo
    4 Carl Gunnarsson - 22 Kevin Shattenkirk
    19 Jay Bouwmeester - 55 Colton Parayko

    40 Carter Hutton
    [34 Jake Allen]

    Scratches: Robert Bortuzzo (lower body), Ty Rattie (healthy), Brad Hunt (healthy).

  • #2
    Gotta keep up with the rest of the division.

    Comment


    • #3
      Not sure why Couts would be facing visa issues. This seems really strange.

      Very interested to see how Leier will perform with G and Jake. His speed is impressive...would love to see this click.

      Comment


      • #4
        I read that Couturier did get into town and is expected to play tonight. I believe he's playing where Gordon is listed above.

        And I don't know why Schultz is playing. I was hoping to never see him in the lineup again!
        Mike Barr, Founder

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mike Barr View Post
          I read that Couturier did get into town and is expected to play tonight. I believe he's playing where Gordon is listed above.

          And I don't know why Schultz is playing. I was hoping to never see him in the lineup again!
          Yep, Couturier is slated to play with cousins and Weise to start. Honestly I hope by the 2nd period the lines are more like
          10-28-93
          11-14-17
          58-25-13
          76-78-22

          I'm fine with Schultz as a 7 for this season. Might as well get a game here and there while there are injuries.
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          • #6
            Schultz is too slow and unskilled for today's game. He always gets credited for being a high volume shot blocker, but why does he block so many shots? Because he can't get the puck out of the zone and is forced to defend constantly! Plus he makes some horrible pinching decisions that too often give up odd man rushes. It's painful to watch him most of the time.
            Mike Barr, Founder

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike Barr View Post
              Schultz is too slow and unskilled for today's game. He always gets credited for being a high volume shot blocker, but why does he block so many shots? Because he can't get the puck out of the zone and is forced to defend constantly! Plus he makes some horrible pinching decisions that too often give up odd man rushes. It's painful to watch him most of the time.
              Yeah, he is what he is at this point. He won't be here next season either way. It's just a question of whether or not they move him by the deadline for something or just let him walk in the summer. If he literally rides the bench all season it'll be tough to move him and get something back.
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              • #8
                maybe we can scout Shattenkirk while we are at it

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's games like this that convince me that Mason is not the long term answer between the pipes!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    this team needs something...and i am not really..sure what...but i think they need to be really..blown out embarrassingly for a move to be made

                    Comment

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