A lot of talk about the Coyotes knowing Ilya's weaknesses and will exploit them tonight. I think it comes down to coaching, controlling his rebounds and clearing the front of his crease more than anything tonight. No more BLIND PASSES across ice as well! (Looking at you JVR)
Dave Tippett is one of the best coaches in hockey. The former Flyer (with one of the coolest 'staches in NHL history) won the Jack Adams Award in 2010 and his team is now 9-4-3 so far this season, 5-1 on the road. Currently 2-0 on a 5 game road swing.
Mike Smith has been phenomenal between the pipes this season; an 8-2 record, 2.19 GAA and a .930 Save %. Maybe it was the defense that made Ilya so good in Phoenix? Shane Doan is one of the best Captains in hockey, one of the few Captains in this league who could walk down the street in a hockey town and not be bothered. I think he could walk down the hallway at Jobing.com Arena in Phoenix during game day and not be bothered either.....or recognized.
The Flyers coming off back-to-back wins on the road are now home for one game and then fly out to Winnipeg (The former home of the Coyotes). After that game, our boys fly home to play the 'Canes. This awful early season schedule has not been kind to the Flyers.
Anyway, I don't expect a game that the Flyers had in their last home contest, a 9-2 whupping of the Blue Jackets 11 days ago. I expect a defensive struggle.
I know Coach Laviolette would like to see guys like van Riemsdyk and Danny Briere start lightin' the lamp more. The experiment with JVR at the point has not worked. I do like seeing Matt Read at the blue line though. No better time for the duo to start scoring than against the 'Yotes tonight.
We don't need to start hearing about back problems from Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr because they're carrying the team.
A tweet from @BizNasty2point0 (Paul Bissonnette, Phoenix's tough guy and Twitter's comedian) --