Gameday - Flyers @ Blackhawks - 10/18/16 >
 
 

Gameday - Flyers @ Blackhawks - 10/18/16

Created 1 years 56 days ago
by Nick Arnold

Tags: Blackhawks Couturier Flyers Konecny NHL Voracek
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Gameday - Flyers (1-0-1) @ Blackhawks (1-2-0)

Tuesday, Oct. 18th

(8:30PM ET - NBCSN or CSN)


Good morning, OBP family, and what a good morning it is. The sun is shining, the temperature is just right, and the Flyers are back on our television screens tonight. Before we take a look at the matchup between Philadelphia and Chicago, I’d like to start off with a quick review of the first two games of the 2016-17 campaign.


Flyers (4) @ Kings (2) - W

Friday, Oct. 14th


Well I’ll be darned. The Flyers went into this (absurdly late o’clock, EST) season opener having lost their last 4. But that’s all in the past. Our future stars made certain of that, as Konecny had a multi-point game to start his NHL career with 2 assists while Provorov found himself in the ‘A’ column, as well.


Flyers (3) @ Coyotes (4) - OTL

Saturday, Oct. 15th


Seeing as we finished the season with roughly 50 back-to-backs in the span of a month, it was only fitting we began this season with a back-to-back. The Flyers looked a little out of sorts, possibly exhausted, but hung in there and erased a 3-1 deficit to take the ‘Yotes to OT. Unfortunately a blatantly missed call in which Voracek had his stick ripped from his hands was immediately followed by Giroux getting called for hooking, and Arizona capitalized on the 4-on-3 delayed penalty to end the tilt.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s shift our focus to tonight.


The Opponent...


The Blackhawks did not have an ideal start to their season, dropping their first two games while being outscored 8 to 4.They were able to turn it around on the back end of a home-and-home series with Nashville, topping the Predators 5-3 on Saturday. Both clubs will be playing for their 2nd win of the year tonight.


Looking Back...


Speaking of playing for their 2nd win, the Flyers and Blackhawks met up twice last season, with the Flyers sweeping the short series 2-0. The first game ended in a shutout, giving the Flyers their 2nd win of the year. Now I know that means nothing in terms of this game, but wouldn’t it be dandy for tonight to end with the same result?




Players To Watch…


Blackhawks


The obvious responses here include names like Toews, Kane, and Hossa, but my focus tonight is on Richard Panik. In 3 games he has potted 4 goals and added an assist, leading all Blackhawks in goals and points. Not only that, he’s scored those tallies on only 6 shots for a meager 66% shooting percentage. He’s had a point in each of his three games, 2 goals on the man-advantage, and a hat-trick in Chicago’s win over Nashville on Saturday. This offensive pace may not last throughout the whole season but in terms of tonight, containing this Panik attack will be essential if the Flyers are going to come home Thursday with 2 more points under their belt.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ume9_cnZ7iw


Flyers


The good thing about the Flyers so early in the season is that in 2 games, there are only 4 out of 18 skaters who have not registered a point so far. I know it’s too soon to say anything for certain, but the depth is clearly there. My player to watch for the orange and black is Sean Couturier. In 2 games played he has 2 goals in 3 shots, also shooting at 66%. He’s on a line that has a total of 6 points so far. He’s been given the best chance he’s had in his NHL career so far to finally shine offensively and not just be relied on to shut down the opposing team’s big guys. Watch for him to capitalize on the strong play of Voracek and the offensive awareness of young Travis Konecny.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH5yzQrNwW0


Name of the Game…


My name of the game for tonight: DISCIPLINE


Call it bad officiating or call it carelessness, but the Flyers are not going to skate out of Chicago with a point (let alone two) if they find themselves camping in the sin bin all night as they did for a good portion of Saturday’s OT loss. On the plus side, our boys only allowed a single goal during their 7(!) shorthanded instances. The PK has been more in-your-face to start this season, and so far it’s giving teams trouble. But Chicago is one of the last teams you want to continue to test this on; the Hawks finished with 22.6% powerplay efficiency last season, 2nd only to our next opponent: the Anaheim Ducks.






Final Thoughts…


If the Flyers can continue to play solid defense, keep themselves out of trouble, and keep getting offensive contributions from all 4 lines, we could absolutely skate out of Chi-Town with a 2-0-1 start to our 2016-17 season.







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