Happy Friday Thunderblog faithful! Hope everyone had a great Halloween last night. I’m purposely a day late with my weekly NHL roundup because it’s now November. Because of the new month, I’m splitting up the sections about the NHL and the rest of the league into two different posts. First up: the Broad Street Bullies
The Flyers (3-8-0, 7th Metropolitan) kick off the second month of the season with their first matchup against the Washington Capitals (5-7-0, T-4th Metropolitan). This is the first time these two teams will be meeting as division opponents since the 1997-98 season, the last NHL season with four divisions and when there were only 26 teams in the league and the Caps were sporting this logo:
Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin has been scratched from tonight’s game. Ovi currently leads the team in goals (10) and points (15). The Flyers are coming off a tough 3-2 loss against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night in which the Ducks scored three unanswered after the Flyers lead 2-0 after one period. “We stood around and we were watching,” Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds told the media about the game. Aside from the Islanders game last Saturday, that sums up much of this season for the Flyers. The way they played in the first period on Tuesday was electrifying, Philadelphia needs to play this way all three periods. The game on Long Island last weekend proves they are capable of that.
Since Tuesday night, the Flyers have traded Max Talbot to Colorado in exchange for Steve Downie. Downie played for the Flyers and Phantoms from 2007-2009. You may remember him from this hit:
Clearly an enforcer by trade, Downie currently has seven points in eleven game this season. He has scored 20 goals once in his career in the 2009-10 season in which he played a career high 79 games.
The rest of the Flyers’ week will be on the road. They’ll face the Devils for the first time tomorrow night and then travel back to Raleigh to face the Carolina Hurricanes. This is my Key Game of the Week for the Flyers. Their first game against the Canes was the last for Peter Laviolette as the Head Coach and the Flyers need to make a statement. Carolina started off hot but has been cooling down as of late. They host Tampa Bay tonight and then travel up to the newly renovated MSG to play the Rangers before the Flyers come down on Tuesday. Frankly, all of these matchups should be very intriguing and exciting to watch as a Flyers fan, but as the Caps and Devils go 5 and 6 before the Flyers’ 7 in the Metropolitan, this tilt in Carolina is the most important.
As I lead with, it’s a new month, time had out some awards for October:
Best Win: 10/26/13 @ NY Islanders: 5-2. This is obvious. As I mentioned before, this is the most complete game the Flyers have played this season. It is also the only game in which the Flyers scored more than two goals.
Worse Loss: 10/11/13 vs. Phoenix Coyotes: 2-1. While Phoenix is 9-3-2 with 20 points and is in 3rd in the Pacific and the Flyers have lost by worse scores (the next night in Detroit, 5-2), the Coyotes have let up 44 goals this season. That’s the second most in the NHL. The Flyers have only scored more than two goals once. That needs to change.
MVP: Tie: Vinny Lecavalier and Matt Read. People doubted in signing of the former Lightning captain, they were wrong. He has shown to be a strong member of this team since returning from an injury, helping Claude Giroux start to work out of his slow start while scoring fours in the last two games. Matt Read gets the nod because he kept his word. He said he could and would play better before the Rangers game last week, and is on a three-game goal streak.
It’s a new month for the Flyers. They’ll have fifteen games this month compared to the eleven from October, seven at home and eight on the road. They’re winning percentage suggests they’ll win only four games in November. I’m saying that they will win seven. Comparably, it’s an easier schedule than October. As a fan, I’m hoping it’ll be more.