Weekly Flyers Preview: Nov. 25-Dec. 1
Dan MacNeal on Mon, 2013-11-25 16:08
The win streak the Philadelphia is on could continue with four very winnable games. Last week the Flyers won all three games as predicted, beating their opponents by a combined score of 14-5.
This week puts the Flyers on the road for three games as well as a very rare morning game on Black Friday at home.
Monday, November 25 @ Florida Panthers (6-13-5, 17 points, 7th Atlantic)
The last time the Flyers and Panthers met (October 8), South Florida had some optimism in a young season. Not so much is the case these days as the Cats are 6-13-5 and the second-worst team in the NHL.
They can't score (2.12 goals per game, 27th), can't defend (3.17 GAA, 27th) and are near the bottom in almost every major statistical category. They're destined for the lottery and even dealt one of their big names, Kris Versteeg, in the continuing youth movement.
Brian Campbell and Tomas Fleischmann lead the Panthers in scoring, both with three goals and nine assists on the year.
Wednesday, November 27 @ Tampa Bay Lightning (14-8-1, 29 points, 3rd Atlantic)
At one time, the Lightning were among the league's leaders in points. However, a Steven Stamkos leg injury has caused the Bolts to drop to third in their division.
Tampa has averaged a mind boggling 4.1 goals at home, and not surprisingly, have an 8-2 record at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. However, since losing Stamkos, the team has only averaged two goals per game, losing their last four (0-3-1).
Martin St. Louis (8 goals, 21 points) and Valteri Filppula (9 goals, 16 points) have provided offense without Stamkos while goaltender Ben Bishop has been great, going 13-3-1 with a 2.20 GAA and a .926 save percentage.
Friday, November 29 vs. Winnipeg Jets (10-11-4, 24 points, 7th Central)
The annual Black Friday game features the Jets, losers of their last four heading into Monday. They have not won since beating the Flyers in a shootout on November 15 and their last non-shootout win came on November 8 against Nashville.
The Flyers traditionally have not fared well in Black Friday games recently, but defeated Montreal in 2011. Since moving to Winnipeg, the Jets have given the Flyers tough bouts, so despite the Jets' record, this will not be an easy game for the orange and black.
For the Flyers to win, they will have to take advantage of a Winnipeg team that does not score on the road (1.89 goals per game).
Saturday, November 30 @ Nashville Predators (11-10-2, 24 points, 6th Central)
The Predators have fallen on hard times with the injury to star goalie Pekka Rinne. Marek Mazanec has done admirably (3-3, 2.32, .929) but the Preds failures lie with their offense.
Nashville averages 2.26 goals per game (24th), although thay number jumps to 2.44 at Bridgestone Arena. Craig Smith and Patric Hornqvist lead the club with six goals apiece.
Despite the lackluster scoring numbers, Nashville has the 10th-ranked power play (21%). Their penalty kill is solid as well (83.3%, 13th). The Flyers will have to win the special teams battle to pick up two points in the Music City.
Weekly Expectation: 6 out of 8 points.
Since Nov. 18 Dan has been predicting Flyers points.