clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ducks/Flyers Preview: GOLDBERG!!!!!!

If Ducks fly together, do Flyers Duck together? Discuss.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The thing with the Flyers is that when they're bad, they're really, really terrible, but only for a little while, Ed Snyder simply won't allow it.  For example take the 2007 season when they crashed to the bottom of the league and picked up James vanRiemsdyk second overall.  Within three years they were right back in the Stanley Cup Final against Chicago.  Of course, the majority of players that made up that 2010 team are now gone (many to Los Angeles, unfortunately) so the time has come for an instant rebuild.

Despite Jakub Voracek trailing only Sindey Crosby for the league lead in points (32 to 33 respectively), the Flyers find themselves somewhat surprisingly in the early running for Connor McDavid.  In fact, thanks to a recent streak by the Sabres, Philly is even behind Buffalo in the standings, ahead of only the injury riddled Columbus Blue Jackets and the good ol' Edmonton Oilers.

Game Notes:

The last time these teams faced off, Voracek was Marian Hossa-esque in his power forwardyness and the Ducks had to withstand a late charge to win in a skills competition, highlighted by Wild Bill Karlsson, who will not be available for any heroics as he is currently plying his trade in Norfolk.

The injury bug has hit the Ducks hard again.  As quickly as he arrived, Eric Brewer is out with a foot injury (possibly broken, test results expected later today) sustained during Monday's win over Boston.  However, even with the emergency replacement body of Brewer falling to injury the Ducks have sent Jessie Blacker back to Norfolk because it seems Mark Fistric and/or Clayton Stoner are just about ready to return to the lineup from back issues and a puck to the face in Fistric's case and a bout with the Mumps for Stoner.  Regardless, none of those things really help the Ducks defense get any better, although I would bet on both Fistric and Stoner to eat up more than the paltry 6:03 of time on ice Blacker recorded in his NHL debut against Chicago.

Not to be outdone, the goalie injury situation has worsened as well.  Luckily Frederik Andersen is still available, because Jason LaBarbera has gone out to an upper body injury and the Ducks have been forced to call upon Igor Bobkov to back up the Dane.  Let's all hope to... whatever it is you hope to that Bobkov doesn't have to enter the game any time soon, as his numbers in the AHL are simply atrocious (4.70 GAA and .842 Sv%).

The Flyers, on the other hand, appear to be relatively healthy.  They did make some news however, yesterday when Head Coach Craig Berube healthy scratched Vinny Lecavalier, who has been nothing but a disappointment in the orange and the black, for the first time in his career.  Also scratched was underwhelming defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who was initially brought in as a stopgap replacement due to Kimmo Timmonen's placement on LTIR due to blood clots, before the season began.   The game that those two missed turned out to be a 2-1 loss to San Jose in which Steve Mason made 25 saves on 27 shots.  So with the back to backs we may see the return of former Duck great Ray Emery in the pipes for Philly, but we'll have to wait and see on that.

What Can We Learn From This Game:

Over the past few weeks, the Ducks have had issues in all of their games.  Against higher regarded teams like Chicago, San Jose and Boston, they were just plain out played for the vast majority of the games.  Against teams that less is expected from like Arizona, Calgary and Vancouver, they have shown that they can control play for stretches, but not for a full game.  With Philly struggling so, they have a better chance to put together the elusive 60 minute effort but considering injuries and issues with the defense I'd lean toward more of what we saw against the Coyotes, Flames and Canucks.

The Flyers' defense isn't really any better.  Their strength clearly comes from forwards like Voracek, Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds as opposed to the vaunted names on the blueline like Brayden Coburn, Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald.  This has the potential to be a wide open game, and an opportunity for some of the Ducks' lagging secondary scoring to get things rolling.

Fearless Prediction:

At least one of the goalies will face 45 or more shots.