Philadelphia vs. Canadiens
Bell Centre – October 5th, 2013 – 7:15pm
Season Series – First of three games. The other two games will be played in Philadelphia December 12th and January 8th.
The Big Picture – The Flyers have beaten the Canadiens eight of the last eleven meetings. The three Flyer losses have all been in Montreal.
Already Piling Up – In their second game of the season the Canadiens have already lost 8 man-games due to injury. Max Pacioretty won’t play because of what is termed a “minor” forearm/wrist injury. Brandon Prust is expected to move up to play with Desharnais and Briere.
NHL Debut – Michael Bournival will play in his first NHL game. Bournival scored 4 goals and an assist while playing in six of the seven training camp exhibition games. lHe was second on the Hamilton Bulldogs last season with 30 points in 69 games (10 goals, 20 assists). In his debut, Bournival is likely to centre the fourth line with Ryan White and Travis Moen.
Last Season – The Flyers won two of three. Feb.16 @Bell Centre – Canadiens-4 Philadelphia-1. Gallagher, Desharnais, Plekanec and Bourque (ENG). Gallagher (goal and assist-first star) Budaj in goal faced 19 shots. April 3rd @ Philadelphia Philadelphia-5 Canadiens-3. Trailing 3-2 Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek scored 90 seconds apart late in the third period and the Flyers added an empty net goal. Sean Couturier snapped a 27 game goal drought. Emelin, Prust and Desharnais scored for the Canadiens. The Flyers outshot the Canadiens 33-17 including 14-2 in the third period. April 15th @Bell Centre Philadelphia-7 Canadiens-3. Scott Hartnell hat trick and a three-point night (one goal, two assists) for Claude Giroux. Pacioretty, Gallagher and Galchenyuk for Montreal. Price started and failed to finish for the second straight game allowing 6 goals on 29 shots. Budaj played the third period.
The Setup – The Canadiens have not started a season 0-2-0 since 2000-2001. The Flyers have beaten the Canadiens eight of the last eleven games.
For Openers – Both the Canadiens and Flyers lost their season opening games against Toronto. The Canadiens 4-3 Tuesday night. The Flyers lost 3-1 Wednesday despite controlling play for most of the night. the Philadelphia had 73 shot attempts at home against Toronto compared to just 42 for the Maple Leafs, suggesting the Flyers controlled the play and spent most of the night in the offensive zone. The Flyers fired 73 shots (32 on net), compared with Toronto’s 43 (25 on net).
Briere – Daniel Briere plays against the Flyers for the first time in seven years going back to when he was with Buffalo. The Canadiens are Brière’s fourth career team. If going up against his former teammates is going to be difficult for Briere, it’s equally awkward for Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux who lived in Briere’s house as Flyer rookies. (in Couturier’s case-18 months).
Milestone – Tomas Plekanec will play in his 600th game. In 599 games with the Canadiens, Plekanec has 156 goals, 240 assists and 396 points.
Moving On – The Flyers play their first set of back-to-back games of the season at Carolina to face the Hurricanes late Sunday afternoon. The Canadiens will move on to play four games in Western Canada beginning in Calgary Wednesday and Edmonton Thursday.
Goaltending – Philadelphia – Ray Emery back for his second stint with the team. Since the last time he started for Philadelphia the Flyers have used eight different goaltenders. Emery was 17 -1-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average in 21 games with Chicago last season. In the preseason 3.30 GAA and .873 save percentage in the preseason. While Emery has posted a 1.75 GAA in winning four consecutive starts against the Canadiens, he hasn’t faced them since 2008 when he was with Ottawa. Canadiens – Carey Price is 1-7-0 with a 3.97 GAA in his last eight games against Philadelphia. In his last start against the Flyers he allowed 6 goals on 29 shots before giving way to Peter Budaj in the third period. In his career Price is 7-8-0 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.82GAA.
Special Teams – Last season the Flyers had the NHL’s best special teams differential at plus-12 goals. Their power play ranked 3rd and their penalty killing was 5th. The Canadiens power play was 5th ranked but their penalty killing was 23rd. Overall the Canadiens scored seven more goals on their power play than they gave up on the penalty kill.
Who’s Hot – Philadelphia – Claude Giroux has six goals and four assists in his last nine games versus Montreal. Vincent Lecavalier has 19 goals 23 assists – 42 points in 53 games against the Canadiens. . Canadiens – Lars Eller 2 goals, 1 assist in opening game. Alex Galchenyuk 2 assists.
Sidelined –: Philadelphia – D-Chris Pronger (LTIR-post concussion syndrome); D-Andre Bourdon (LTIR-post concussion syndrome). … Canadiens – LW-Max Pacioretty (forearm/wrist); RW-George Parros (concussion); D-Alexei Emelin (IR–knee), D-Davis Drewiske (IR-shoulder); D-Douglas Murray (IR-upper body).
In the News –
Distraction – Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is seeking at least $3 million in damages for fraud, claiming, following the StanleyCup win while he was still in Carolina, the Bank of America convinced him to mortgage his properties and invest the proceeds in high-risk funds that “utterly collapsed,”
Hotseat – Talk around the league that, if the Flyers don’t have a winning record by mid November Laviolette will be fired and replaced, possibly by former Flyer Craig Berube. No discussion about GM Paul Holmgren’s future. Yet.
Staying In Shape – Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov who, who was a Flyer buyout along with Briere, has signed a tryout contract with Las Vegas of the ECHL, hoping it leads to an NHL job. The Flyers will pay him 1.67 million per year until 2027. Last season Bryzgalov had a .900 save percentage and 2.79 goals-against average last season in 40 Flyers games.
19 Scott Hartnell – 28 Claude Giroux – 93 Jakub Voracek
10 Brayden Schenn – 40 Vincent Lecavalier – 17 Wayne Simmonds
25 Max Talbot – 14 Sean Couturier – 24 Matt Read
37 Jay Rosehill – 18 Adam Hall – 36 Zac Rinaldo
44 Kimmo Timonen – 5 Braydon Coburn
32 Mark Streit – 22 Luke Schenn
8 Nicklas Grossmann – 41 Andrej Meszaros
29 Ray Emery
8-Brandon Prust – 51 David Desharnais – 48 Daniel Briere
17 Rene Bourque – 14 Tomas Plekanec – 21 Brian Gionta
27 Alex Galchenyuk – 81 Lars Eller – 11 Brendan Gallagher
32 Travis Moen – 49-Michael Bournival – 53 Ryan White
26 Josh Gorges – 76 P.K. Subban
79 Andrei Markov – 61 Raphael Diaz
42 Jarred Tinordi – 55 Francis Bouillon
31 Carey Price