Flyers still without Konecny for matchup against Canadiens
After a four-game Northwestern road trip and 12 days since their last home game, the Philadelphia Flyers will be back in front of the Wells Fargo Center crowd tonight as they take on the Montréal Canadiens.
The Flyers’ road trip was not met with great success, as they went just 1-3-0 with a lone victory coming in Calgary by a score of 4-3 after dropping consecutive 6-2 blowout decisions to Seattle and Vancouver. They finished off their journey by coughing up a third period lead in Edmonton to fall 4-2 to the Oilers on Tuesday.
There were plenty of interesting storylines as the trip progressed. Defenseman Travis Sanheim was healthy scratched in Calgary, where he played his junior hockey with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. Sanheim had friends and family in attendance, to which head coach John Tortorella claimed he had no knowledge of the situation and said it would not have factored into his decision anyway.
"I didn't even know," John Tortorella said about Travis Sanheim's family being in Calgary for the game Tortorella scratched him. "Would it have affected my decision? No."
— Giana Han (@giana_jade) February 24, 2023
In the same game against the Flames, forward Joel Farabee played just 3:54 in the win, in which he did not see the ice from the middle of the second period until the end of the game. It was reported by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli that Farabee’s camp is unhappy about how his season has transpired under Tortorella’s tenure so far, and Monday’s game may have been a tipping point.
Tortorella, however, did not mince words when asked about the situation.
“This is news to me. Is his agent popping off that he’s pissed off? He should shut up.”
– John Tortorella on the report about Joel Farabee’s camp (presumably his agent) being frustrated with how season has unfolded under Tortorella
— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 24, 2023
Things have not gone very swimmingly for Philadelphia over this recent stretch, which also saw forward and leading scorer Travis Konecny suffer an injury in Monday’s game against the Flames. He took a hit from behind from Calgary defender MacKenzie Weegar during the season period, and he went to the dressing room and never returned. He was reportedly seen wearing a sling while leaving the arena, but there was no update on Konecny’s condition today and remains out with what the team is designating as an upper-body injury.
Despite their recent misfortunes, they’ll have a chance to turn things around tonight against a very up-and-down Montréal Canadiens club.
The Canadiens have won 4 of their last 6 contests, including a dominant 5-2 showing in Newark against the third-place Devils on Tuesday night. While they’ve begun to string together wins lately, they had lost 4 straight through the end of January and have only won 9 of 20 games (9-10-1) since the New Year.
Part of Montréal’s struggles could be attributed to star forward and leading goal-scorer Cole Caufield missing the rest of the season with a shoulder injury that required surgery, and the Canadiens have a surplus of players out with different ailments, but they didn’t really have a strong roster anyway and are still rebuilding as they sit dead last in the Atlantic Division with just 52 points.
PHI Record: 23-26-10, 56 pts, 7th in Metropolitan
MTL Record: 24-29-4, 52 pts, 8th in Atlantic
Last Game PHI: 2/21/23, 4-2 L at Edmonton
Last Game MTL: 2/21/23, 5-2 W at New Jersey
When: 7:00pm ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
PHI Goalie: Carter Hart (16-18-9, .909 SV%, 2.89 GAA, 1 SO)
MTL Goalie: Jake Allen (12-18-2, .894 SV%, 3.47 GAA, 1 SO)
PHI Projected Lineup
#13 Kevin Hayes – #21 Scott Laughton – #57 Wade Allison
#25 James van Riemsdyk – #48 Morgan Frost – #74 Owen Tippett
#62 Olle Lycksell – #49 Noah Cates – #86 Joel Farabee
#44 Nicolas Deslauriers – #38 Patrick Brown
#45 Cam York – #55 Rasmus Ristolainen
#9 Ivan Provorov – #61 Justin Braun
#24 Nick Seeler – #77 Tony DeAngelo
#61 Justin Braun
#79 Carter Hart
#33 Samuel Ersson
MTL Projected Lineup
#49 Rafaël Harvey-Pinard – #14 Nick Suzuki – #17 Josh Anderson
#32 Rem Pitlick – #28 Christian Dvorak – #63 Evgenii Dadonov
#68 Mike Hoffman – #27 Jonathan Drouin – #56 Jesse Ylönen
#55 Michael Pezzetta – #67 Chris Tierney – #60 Alex Belzile
#8 Mike Matheson – #52 Justin Barron
#64 Corey Scheuneman – #58 David Savard
#54 Jordan Harris – #26 Johnathan Kovacevic
#34 Jake Allen
#35 Sam Montembeault
PHI Injuries: Sean Couturier (back), Ryan Ellis (hip), Tanner Laczynski (upper-body), Zack MacEwen (jaw), Cam Atkinson (neck), Travis Konecny (upper-body)
Scratched: Felix Sandström, Kieffer Bellows
MTL Injuries: Cole Caufield (shoulder), Arber Xhekaj (upper-body), Juraj Slafkovský, Jake Evans (lower-body), Paul Byron (hip), Brendan Gallagher (lower-body), Kaiden Guhle (knee), Sean Monahan (foot), Joel Edmundson (lower-body), Kirby Dach (lower-body), Chris Wideman (upper-body), Joel Armia (illness)
News and Notes
– The Flyers are expected to roll with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen tonight.
– Felix Sandström remains a healthy scratch, indicating that Samuel Ersson has more than likely secured his spot as the Flyers’ backup goaltender.
– Tanner Laczynski and Zack MacEwen were present at morning skate today but their returns to the lineup are unknown at this point.
– Sean Couturier skated on Thursday, an positive indication of his physical condition and perhaps a return later in the season.
– These teams previously faced off on November 19th, 2022 in the first meeting of the season at Bell Centre. Montréal came from behind after scoring with 1.9 seconds left in the third period to force overtime before securing a 5-4 win in a shootout.
– In the last game played at Wells Fargo Center between these clubs back on March 15th, 2022, Claude Giroux scored his 291st goal to surpass Hockey Hall of Famer Eric Lindros for 8th in Flyers history. Time flies.
Broadcast Info: TV – NBC Sports Philadelphia, Radio – 97.5 The Fanatic