Tonight will not be wild. Will probably be pretty tame. Oh well.
After a hard fought loss on Saturday night, the Flyers again face off against the Wild, for the second and final time this season. Based on the Wild’s more or less consistent [and boring] style, it would be safe to assume that tonight we can expect to see a showing similar to Saturday’s, in many ways. Here are three things to look for going into tonight’s game.
1. Middle six shuffle
News came out of yesterday’s practice that the Flyers have been experimenting with new line arrangements for the middle six. Those changes include moving Weal to center a line of Simmonds and Weise, with Filppula moving down to center Lehtera and Konecny. With secondary scoring severely lacking through much of this season, the coaching staff are trying their hardest to make changes and jumpstart some extra offense. And while on paper the construction of these lines may seem unexpected, there may be some potential there. Nothing beats a failure but a try, and the Flyers are certainly trying.
2. Breaking up the Wild’s defense
One of the most frustrating elements of the Wild’s game is the way in which they’re able to clog up the area around the net and prevent shots from breaking through. This proved detrimental to the Flyers’ efforts on Saturday, but they weren’t entirely without their opportunities. They had some good looks, had opportunities where they were able to break the puck across the slot, but couldn’t seem to get anyone there in time to tap it in. The Flyers will have to hope that they can build on this momentum, and do so early, as Minnesota won’t be looking to do them any favors.
A real high point of Saturday’s performance? Goaltending. Elliott, despite the lone goal allowed on a bad bounce, put up a solid performance and kept the Flyers in the game, when the deficit could have been much worse. Considering what Saturday’s game looked like, we can expect this to likely be a low scoring affair – if the Flyers’ goaltending can hold steady. The Wild won’t be looking to give up much, and the Flyers will have to work to do the same. And the first step to this is through sharp goaltending. After putting up a solid showing against them on Saturday, we can expect that Elliott again gets the start, and hope that he can replicate, if not build on, that performance.
And what are the stats saying? The models up so far over at Corsica give the Flyers an average of 45.1 percent chance of winnjng, with a high of 50.4 percent, and a low of 41 percent.
You can check out the Flyers’ prospective lineup below.
Giroux – Couturier – Voracek
Weise – Weal – Simmonds
Lehtera – Filppula – Konecny
Leier – Laughton – Raffl
Provorov – Hagg
Manning – Gostisbehere
Gudas – Sanheim