Pod Street Preview: Flyers Battle For First

Three weeks into the season, the Flyers find themselves sitting at the top of the standings, tied with the Washington Capitals and three points ahead of the Boston Bruins. Of course, these two teams played each other to start the week on Monday night, in which Boston came away with a 5-3 win. With the Bruins winning that game, they helped the Flyers leapfrog the Capitals and take first place in the East division. As we all know, the Flyers are riding a four-game win streak, in which they swept the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders last week.

Battling the Bruins on Broad Street

Does anyone want to relive the first two games when the Flyers met with the Bruins this season? Real quick, the Flyers dropped their first loss against the Bruins in a Boston comeback shoot out and then got their butts whooped in a 6-1 decision.

The first game against the B’s will be on primetime television for “Wednesday Night Hockey” starting at 8 PM. We will also get to see the Flyers debut their new Reverse Retro jerseys during the first game. The second game will be on Friday at 7 PM. This will be the first homestand for the Flyers against the Bruins. 

After dropping the first two decisions, the Flyers are looking for some redemption against the highly-skilled Bruins team. Brad Marchand is leading the points column with six goals and seven assists. David Pastrnak is still slowly finding his groove, having missed the first seven games of the season. 

The standout player to watch against the Bruins will be Carter Hart as he looks to bounce back after he let up 12 goals in the first two meetings. The Flyers have been able to find scoring throughout the lineup as Hayes, van Riemsdyk, Konecny, and Farabee are all tied for the most goals on the team at five each. 

Road-trip To DC!

On Super Bowl Sunday, Flyers fans get treated to a whole day of sports. Fans will get the chance to watch a Sunday matinee between the Flyers and Capitals. This will kick off the first match-up of their mini-series. 

The Capitals only have one game between Monday’s matchup and the Flyers game on Sunday. Washington will travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the Rangers on Thursday. This gives the Capitals plenty of rest between games. Claude Giroux and company will have to bounce back after their game against the Bruins on Friday. 

Washington’s team is filled with scoring throughout the lineup. Backstrom leads the team with five goals and eight assists, with Carlson shortly trailing by a goal and an assist in each category. As always, the Capitals have another dominating powerplay, where they have converted 40.91% of their opportunities. The Flyers will have to be mindful not to take stupid penalties against Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals.

Philadelphia will have their hands full this Sunday with the Capitals. The Flyers had the Capitals number last season by going 3-0-1 and outscoring them 16-8. Right before the pause of the season, the Flyers were right on the heels of Washington and would have most likely jumped them when it came down to the final stretches of the season. Expect the Flyers to play a very defensively minded game.

Final Thoughts

As many are aware, the Flyers have not played their best hockey yet, and they still are found at the top of the East Division and the league. Vigneault knows it, the players know it, and Chuck Fletcher knows that they are not fooling the rest of the league. 

The Flyguys must buckle and get down to business this week if they want to prove to the league they are here to play. This week’s match-ups against the Bruins and Capitals will be what separates the boys from the men. This is the chance to take over first place and create some breathing room heading down the stretch. 

Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

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