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Will Lightning Strike Thrice Against the Flyers?

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers are coming off their 7th loss in a row and are once again facing the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning for the third time in three weeks. Tampa Bay took the previous two games by scores of 4-3 and 4-0. The Flyers were lucky to get a point from the first game versus Tampa Bay, aided by a late Claude Giroux goal to send it to overtime. The Flyers eventually lost in a shootout. The Lightning won handedly in the 4-0 game on November 23rd. They scored two minutes into the game and did not look back.

The Flyers’ current losing streak began against Tampa Bay, so it would be poetic for the losing streak to end against the team that started it. The current state of this Flyers team is abysmal. The sky is falling. James van Riemsdyk has 6 goals in his last 51 games. For reference, Luke Schenn has two goals this week. Do you think we can do that trade over again today? Oskar Lindblom has one point the entire 2021 season and has been invisible. Sean Couturier hasn’t had a goal in 11 games, and he just signed a massive extension. Travis Konecny has 2 points in his last 12 games. Ryan Ellis has played four games all season. Kevin Hayes has been similarly injured. One of the few forwards producing, Joel Farabee, is now out 2-6 weeks with a shoulder injury.  The strength of this team was supposed to be the forward group, but they have been atrocious. The goaltending of Carter Hart and Martin Jones is being wasted. Who would’ve thought that the goaltending was going to be the strong suit of this team?

Tampa Bay will be playing their third game in four nights in three different cities. This will also be Tampa Bay’s fifth game in seven days in five different cities. Despite being a very good team, that is a lot of games and travel in a short period of time. The Flyers should be full rested having only played once all week. This is an opportunity to get the season back on track despite the tough matchup. The Lightning are coming off a 3-2 overtime win against Boston last night. Tampa Bay was heavily outshot 39 to 25 by the Bruins.

The Lightning will be without Brayden Point and Mathieu Joseph but have gotten back defenseman Erik Cernak. He is a big physical defenseman in the mold of a Radko Gudas/Rasmus Ristolainen type. He can eat minutes on the 2nd pairing and provides solid puck moving abilities.


Start Fast

Tampa has played a lot as spelled out above. Start fast, hit the Tampa defense at every opportunity. Wear them down. The Flyers must show life early and often. If the Flyers do not show life in this game, it may be time to make a change. GM Chuck Fletcher stated he wants to see what he has with this team, but time and points are slipping away.

Hope Tampa Bay Starts Elliott Over Vasilevskiy

Former Flyers goalie Brian Elliott is giving up an extra goal per game versus his teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy. Elliott’s save percentage is also worse this year with the defending Stanley Cup champs in front of him than last year. Vasilevskiy started last night versus the Bruins and stopped 37 of 39 shots and got the win. Any advantage that the Flyers can get, they will take.

Don’t Let the Lightning Gain the Blueline With Speed

The Flyers are one of the best teams in the league at uncontrolled entries defensively, meaning they don’t let the other team enter their defensive zone with control of the puck. Tampa Bay has elite speed and skill. Grind them down, punish them at every turn, and make them dump the puck in.


Philadelphia Flyers

Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Cam Atkinson

Morgan Frost – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny

James van Riemsdyk – Scott Laughton – Zack MacEwen

Oskar Lindblom – Patrick Brown – Connor Bunnaman

Ivan Provorov – Rasmus Ristolainen

Travis Sanheim – Justin Braun

Keith Yandle – Nick Seeler

Carter Hart


Tampa Bay Lightning

Ondrej Palat- Steven Stamkos -Alex Barre-Boulet

Alex Killorn- Anthony Cirelli – Gabriel Fortier

Pat Maroon- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Corey Perry

Boris Katchouk – Ross Colton – Taylor Raddysh

Ryan McDonagh – Zach Bogosian

Victor Hedman – Mikhail Sergachev

Jan Rutta – Erik Cernak

Brian Elliott

I am a bearded manchild with a love for the Flyers, Eagles, Sixers, Phillies, Union, and all other things Philadelphia. I am here with my jar of pennies to throw in my 2 cents. Also, #girldad and craft beer lover.

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