It’s clear that the Philadelphia Flyers have a lot of issues to work out before they get back to being a Stanley Cup contender, if they do at all. With one win under their belt, the Flyers will try to improve upon that record as they host the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night.
The Coyotes will be the Flyers first Western Conference opponent since the 2011-12 NHL season. It was also the last time the teams have played each other since the lockout.
For this matchup, the odds are in the Flyers favor, but they also are not playing with the solid offense that they played with a few season ago. The Flyers have gone 2-0 in the last two games that they have played against the Coyotes with six goals for and three goals against. That gives Flyers fans a pretty good outlook that they will see a win.
Unfortunately the Flyers’ offense still needs a lot of work so they may struggle against the Coyotes defense especially since the team has sought after defensive powerhouse Keith Yandle. The Flyers also need to not forget about veteran Shane Doan, especially if the team continues to play a sloppy and undisciplined style of hockey.
In their last two games with the Coyotes, the Flyers were 0-8 on the penalty kill. This is not good to hear, if you watched the Flyers play against the Florida Panthers earlier this week. The Flyers managed to do okay on their PK with help from their goalie Steve Mason, but they also had given the Panthers way too many man advantages. They were also getting in scuffles more than usual, so if Craig Berube changes anything this season, he needs to straighten up this team. Right now, they lack discipline, which will continue to get them in trouble as the season goes on if they don’t smarten up.
Expect Mason to be the starter again Friday, and for Vincent Lecavalier to try to bring it again. Hopefully the veteran forward can also help Claude Giroux pull out of his sluggish playing.