Orange & Black Breakdown
by Vindisi on 11/21/11 at 03:25 PM ET
It’s been a while since I last posted courtesy of computer problems and health problems. But all is well in the world again and after the jump, I will get right back into it with a team that Giroux (as well as the rest of the league) has abused in the first quarter of the hockey season.
Side-note before jumping into the pre-game write-up. Flyers Winter Classic jerseys are officially out and boy are they beautiful. Marc has a nice write-up about the jersey this afternoon including a fine picture of them in all their glory. Oh and some guy named Crosby is back tonight just in time to play all 6 games against the Flyers this season (No Crosby excuse out the window). I will be flipping over to Versus tonight during the Flyers intermissions to see how he is performing against the lowly Islanders.
Carolina Hurricanes (7-11-1 | 17 pts) vs Philadelphia Flyers (11-5-3 | 25 pts)
The Hurricanes have looked all out of sorts this season. At times, they can look like your typical playoff-style grind’em out team, but those times have come few and far between. Same could be said for their star player in Eric Staal. Although, I do not agree that the main reason his overall play has suffered is due to the injuring of his brother. The team’s poor play is magnifying the situation and thus causing the injury of his brother to take center stage as the reason for his early season struggles. But I could be wrong…I’ll let the numbers do the talking on whether or not Staal is the main reason his team has suffered or whether it’s the result of the overall team’s play:
-Staal has registered the 2nd most shots in the league with 82 (18 more than Skinner) and is shooting a measly 4.9%. Staal’s career shooting percentage is 11.1%. A similar style player in Rick Nash has a career shooting percentage of 12.9% but is shooting at a 6.0% clip this season. Pretty obvious that the struggles of each of the team’s superstars have resulted in them fielding 2 of the 3 worst teams in the league thus far.
-Staal is a -16, next worse is former Flyers Mr. Pitkanen at -10.
-Staal’s time on the ice is a full 2:30 more than Jeff Skinner. More opportunities should mean more results.
-Hurricanes are tied for league worst (Ottawa) with 70 goals allowed
-Hurricanes are tied for 2nd worst with the Islanders (behind Columbus) with a goal differential of -21
-Hurricanes have the worst power play in the league at 11.6%
-Hurricanes’ secondary scoring is non-existent. Flyers have 10 players with 11 or more points. Canes have 3
-Hurricanes are tied for 2nd worst winning percentage when leading after 1 (50%) while the Flyers are tied for 1st (100%)
Overall, I see him breaking out his current slump sooner rather than later. Hopefully, I didn’t jinx the Flyers as they take on the Canes tonight.
What to expect from the Hurricanes:
Jeff Skinner: Jeff Skinner is back and he is debunking the myth of a sophomore slump. That Gary Roberts sure knows how to train as Skinner’s offseason program with him once again has done wonders for a budding star in our league (Stamkos). He is pacing the Canes and is the man to stop tonight as he has 20 points in 21 games.
Brian Boucher: If I were a betting man. I’m expecting to see Bouch in net after the Flyers chased Ward early on last game. He played well through 2 periods before falling apart in the 3rd period of the first meeting. Look for the Flyers to toss a lot of pucks at him as they hope to slip one by him early and curtail any confidence from the outset.
3rd game in 4 nights: Not much to say after my mini write-up on Staal. They are a tired team in your building. Get on them early and often and this could be an easy matchup. Let them hang around and the adrenaline will take over and make them a tough out in the 3rd period.
In actuality, Eric is a Flyers fan and decided that his actions would do wonders for their chances
Keys for the FLYERS tonight:
Jake Voracek: Do we continue to see the dominant play from him? He has looked like a man possessed with his electrifying speed and his pursuit on the puck. His problem of playing faster than his thinking process caused him to make sloppy plays on the most basic tasks. Now his thinking is in line with his speed and it shows as he has made outstanding reads (no pun intended) and assists with his fellow teammates
Matt Read: Will this undrafted rookie keep pace with the top overall pick in last year’s draft? Nugent-Hopkins was boosted by a 5 assist game against the Blackhawks this weekend giving him 19 points for the year. Read looks to continue his 4 game goal scoring streak (13 points). I see him doing so as his line continues to click.
Briere-Simmonds-JvR: Will this line continue to underwhelm or is tonight the night they break out? The line is lacking severely in the chemistry department. I have yet to see the line dominate a shift. I’ve seen it sporadically by player, but never by the entire line. If they continue to not produce, then Lavvy needs to make a change.
Voracek and Giroux’s sporting dyed black mustaches proves they are on top of their game
My BOLD predictions for tonight:
-Read notches 2 helpers
-Giroux makes it 10 points in 3 games against Carolina (currently at 7 points in 2 games)
-Talbot continues his torrid pace to the season with a goal and an assist
Lets Go Flyers!
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About Orange & Black Breakdown
The Orange & Black Breakdown looks to be the ultimate, around the clock source for news and information on the Philadelphia Flyers organization and it’s ever-present quest for the Stanley Cup. Focusing on what the team can do to achieve success is the ultimate goal.
The OBB is written and maintained by myself - Marc Siciliano. I’m a college graduate and media production professional in the sports industry with credits on projects like Hard Knocks: Bengals and 24/7 Penguins vs. Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic. A man of many hobbies, I always seem to find a way to spend a disproportionate amount of my daily routine with two things: Flyers hockey and social media (much to the dismay of my hockey impartial friends on twitter).
So what does this mean for you? The plan is to combine these
time-wasting habits passions with my love for writing to provide you with complete coverage of the Flyers from both my head and around the web, 24/7.
This is my second writing stint focusing on the Flyers, but for a much larger audience - so do be gentle. Different perspectives and opinions on the organization are welcome and encouraged. Just because I see it one way doesn’t mean I’m beyond seeing it your way as well, so speak up!
I’m always interested in interacting with readers, so find me on twitter (@marcs797) or email me (email@example.com) and let’s talk hockey.
Thanks for reading; Lets go Flyers!