If you asked anyone who knows a thing or two about hockey if they thought the Philadelphia Flyers would win each of their last four games, they’d probably laugh in your face and walk away without giving you an answer — that’s how unlikely it seemed. However, the orange and black proved the entire hockey world wrong over the past week, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins twice, taking down the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, and finally smothering the Dallas Stars in the third period to earn another win.
This afternoon, however, it won’t be easy — at all. Philadelphia will play host to the No. 1 team in the NHL, the St. Louis Blues. As hard as it is to remind yourself, the players that make up the Blues’ squad are indeed human; at least the last time I checked they were. Don’t let the freakishly good play of the boys in blue scare you though. Besides, Philly is without a question one of the hottest teams in the league right now. St. Louis can be beat. Philly just has to to do a few, or actually, a lot of things.
First and foremost, they must contain Alexander Steen. They can’t let the superstar loose. If they do, he will make them pay big time; his 30 goals prove fact to that.
Philly is obviously going to have to be at their sharpest defensively today. St. Louis enters today’s contest averaging 3.16 goals per game, which is good enough for third in the league.
The Flyers will also find success if they can suffocate the Blues in their own end. St. Louis has thrived in guarding their territory this season giving up only 2.22 goals per game and only surrendering 26.3 shots per game, which is good enough for second
Philadelphia needs to make sure that it plays clean hockey. Period. St. Louis’ 20.6 percent on the power play is good enough for fourth in the league. It’s vital that the Flyers keep calm and stay out of the box.
Lastly, win in regulation, or risk not winning at all. The last person the Flyers want to have to deal with in overtime or a shootout is T.J. Oshie. Oshie has eight shootout goals on the year, which leads the league.
St. Louis is on a pace to finish the season with 120 points. The last time a team did that was four years ago (Washington Capitals — 121 pts). Just a fun fact, St. Louis has only lost two games in a row in regulation three times this season. They lost their contest, but who’s counting, right?