Penguins @ Flyers
Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, January 13 | 5:30 PM Eastern
In a 12-month where certitude and stability are more scarce than real-life singles in your area looking for fun, we get some form of a return to normalcy* with the return of the NHL.
And what better way to do it than a rivalry filled with more chaos than the malware running on your computer after having clicked on that link to find real-life singles in your area looking for fun.
The Penguins travel to Philadelphia to ring in 2021’s version of hockey. An abbreviated 56-game docket that will see these teams meet 8 times over the next 111 days.
And precisely no one knows what to expect.
Here’s what we do know: Both of these teams made an adjusted playoff last year. The results were sub-optimal for each. The Flyers earned a “bye” into the round robin, eventually rising to win the #1 seed in the East. They fought past the Canadiens in Round 1 before sputtering and falling to the Islanders in 7 games.
Those same Canadiens stifled the Penguins in the play-in, which has set in motion a number of changes for a team who has gone from 2 straight Stanley Cup Championships to the brink of mediocrity.
Faces have changed. Gone are Patric Hornqvist, Nick Bjugstad, Conor Sheary (again), Jack Johnson, Justin Schultz, and Matt Murray. Here are Kasperi Kapanen, Colton Sceviour, Mark Jankowski, Mike Matheson, and Cody Ceci.
As they say in hockey – let’s do that hockey.
Guentzel – Crosby – Rodrigues
Zucker – Malkin – Rust
McCann – Jankowski – Tanev
Lafferty – Blueger – Sceviour
Dumoulin – Letang
Matheson – Marino
Pettersson – Ceci
The Flyers are one of the sexy picks this year to go even further in the tournament. Probably largely attributable to their strength at the blue line with Ivan Provorov as the orchestrator there, and with the organization finally settling on what looks like a franchise goaltender in Carter Hart.
Pair that with veterans like Giroux, Hayes, and Voracek – even as Sean Couturier has emerged as a top two-way center in the league, and a few young guys full of piss and vinegar, namely Travis Konecny, and you’ve got the most complete Flyers roster in quite a while. Large credit to Chuck Fletcher, who, turns out, does better with a roster when he doesn’t pay Ryan Suter and Zach Parise eleventy bajillion dollars.
Lindblom – Couturier – Konecny
Giroux – Hayes – Farabee
van Riemsdyk – Patrick – Voracek
Raffl – Laughton – Aube-Kubel
Provorov – Braun
Sanheim – Myers
Hagg – Gustafsson
Keep it ballin’ and fly.
I’m never on anyone’s Top Lists.. But I’ve kept it Ballin and Fly my whole career.. So I’m TOTALLY cool with that…. ‘Don’t worry about me, worry about earthquakes and hurricanes..’ 💎
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) January 12, 2021