Orange & Black Breakdown
by Marc Siciliano on 01/12/12 at 08:12 PM ET
Tonight, the Flyers head to Long Island to take on a team they’ve been dominating since Nassau Coliseum was a relevant piece of architecture in the sporting world, or so it would seem. Philly - 3-1 in their last four games – looks to continue its Long Island lockdown as they prepare for an opponent that has yielded victory in 22 of the last 23 tries. Are the kids ready for another Trial on the Isle? Let’s talk about it after the jump
Philadelphia Flyers (54 pts | 2nd in ATL, 4th in EAST) @ New York Islanders (36 pts | 5th in ATL, 14th in EAST)
What to expect from the ISLANDERS: Fresh off a win against one of the league’s elite, the New York Islanders will be looking to keep the momentum rolling along versus the Flyers tonight, and they’ll be looking at their top line to do so. Tavares has been leading the charge as of late, amassing 7 assists in his last 4 games and 12 points overall during a 6-game point streak. The primary beneficiary of this unselfishness has been Matty Moulson; the 9th round pick turned minor league signee is still proving the doubters wrong (myself included), turning in his 3rd consecutive 20-goal season while potting four pucks in the last five games.
It’s Uncanny. Pontius on the left, Parenteau on the Right
Another guy to keep an eye on would be PA Parenteau. The Chris Pontius look alike is well on pace to double his point total from the last season and has averaged over 17 minutes of ice time in the last four games. Beyond this, there isn’t much to fear from the Islanders attack right now.
What to expect from the FLYERS: With the cooling of the G squad, the Flyers offense has become a somewhat rookie heavy as of late. The young guns have accounted for the last 5 Flyers goals in a row, and Couturier comes in riding a 2-game goal-scoring streak. Sans Danny Briere, the last time the offensive vets have scored is a week ago versus Chicago. Look for heavy doses of the Giroux line as they look to regenerate their offensive flow, but hopefully all four lines can initiate some consistent time in the offensive zone against an inferior opponent tonight.
Another thing to keep an eye on will be the (expected) return of Erik Gustafsson to the blue line tonight for Philadelphia. With trade rumors swirling around a defenseman this year, there will be a lot of eyes on the young defenseman to see if he can be the internal glue that keeps this team together for the long run. If he seems to be in over his head after a few games, this could force the Flyers hand and push them into making a deal. Adversely, if he can perform to the level that some have deemed him capable of, he could prove to be a huge boost for the blue line heading into this crucial second half of the season. With just over a month before the trade deadline, the time is approaching for GM’s to decide whether to stand pat or move all in.
Lastly, expect some more of Bobrovsky. The young Russian is 6-0-0 versus the Islanders with a gaudy 1.84 GAA in that span, and has been pegged for the start again tonight. The last thing the Flyers seem to want is a goalie controversy on their hands, but Bob’s stellar play is starting turn heads within the organization. Could this type of competition get this tandem back on track? One thing’s for sure: if the issue is an above average performance, is it really much of an issue after all? Goalie plans have fallen by the wayside in the past, but teams have still gone on to be successful (Chicago being the prime example of this). There is no reason to assume this can’t happen again…
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s talk hockey.
Thanks for reading; Lets go Flyers!