No one needs to be too concerned with the Conference standings this early on in the season. But when you're teetering on the line of 14th and Last place in the East like the 'Canes are currently, it's nothing to completely disregard either.
Four points is what separates the New York Islanders (15th in the East) with Carolina.
There's many reasons why the 'Canes haven't shined often this season. One of which - and probably the most important of them all - is star forward Eric Staal is having quite the rough start. He's currently a minus-16 on the ice, and totals just 10-points in 21-games played.
Sophomore skater Jeff Skinner leads the roster with 8-goals and 20-points. Yikes.
Cam Ward? Despite having one of the lousiest defenses guarding his blue line, Cam has a .904 SV% in 17-games started.
But we all know what happened last time he faced our Flyers.
Heading into tonight's tilt, Claude Giroux sits atop Philadelphia's points leader-board with 26 (11 G, 15A). Behind him is Jaromir Jagr with 6-goals, 17-points total.
And speaking of "Yagaroo", will that masterful duo skate together this evening? Remember, Jagr suffered a groin injury very early on in the win against the Coyotes last Thursday night. He did not dress (or even make the trip) against the Jets in Winnipeg this passing Saturday.
However, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren promised the ears of Orange & Black nation that it was nothing serious and Jaromir should see the ice for tonight's tilt.
This morning's skate included our 39-year old Czech forward, which is a great sign for things to come. Worst case scenario is Jagr feels good enough to get a skate in, but misses tonight's match as a cautionary decision. We'll know more once it gets closer to puck drop.
All signs point to Ilya Bryzgalov to twinesit for the Bullies. Our comrade is sporting a .905 SV% and has only gotten better since his hairy start to the season.
Unless Hurricanes head honcho Paul Maurice decides to give Cam Ward back-to-back starts in two days, it's possible we're facing former Flyer Brian Boucher opposite of Bryzgalov tonight.
BOOOOOSH has an .877 SV% under his belt, but much like Cam Ward, he's got a piss poor defensive posse in front of him. One the Flyers have had no problems ripping apart the two prior times we've met this season.
Before last night, Carolina was on a three game losing streak that began with the Flyers exactly one week ago today. Yesterday they managed to break the skid with a win over the Leafs.
Nevertheless, Carolina seems to be a squad our Flyers have had more success against than not. Especially this season, with the series record standing at 2 - 0. The 'Canes know this and look to soak in some payback tonight, while the Fly Guys look to get back on the Points Streak Express....
....that was cheesy as hell. My apologies.