Tuesday, October 18, 2011
GDP #6: Sens v Flyers
The Senators are back on home ice, trying to get back in the win column after 2 straight losses, although the last one in DC was an acceptable one with a good effort against a team far superior. Tonight they take on the new look Philadelphia Flyers, who are 3-1 and are coming off an OT loss to my LA Kings on Saturday.
On paper these are 2 teams going in completely opposite directions. The Flyers have Stanley Cup aspirations, while the Sens are looking for the #1 overall pick come June, but don't let that fool you. The Senators are extremely competitive against Philly, even splitting the 4 games last year despite being one of the league's worst teams.
In fact, the Sens have taken 5 of the last 7, and 7 of the last 10 from the Flyers, including 7 in a row at SBP, dating all the way back to Nov 24th, 2007. It's quite the surprising, remarkable record against a good team.
Nick Foligno tries to explain their dominance over Philly.
It will be a battle of the backups tonight as Alex Auld starts for the Senators and Sergei Bobrovsky is in net for Philadelphia.
Speaking of Sergei's, it appears that Gonchar will not be in the lineup tonight to the happiness of many in Sens Army. He took a shot off the leg in Washington and didn't take the skate this morning, so looks like he's sitting out, despite Paul MacLean saying yesterday that it all depends on his pain thresh hold, which means suck it up princess. So of course, Gonchar is sitting out.
Bobby Butler is also out, and looks like he has a fairly serious groin issue that might keep him out awhile. He may be placed on IR any day in fact. Jesse Winchester is getting close to returning but isn't there yet. He continues to sit.
No word on the lines or defensive pairings quite yet, but I would imagine they will be quite similar to the Washington game, where we played pretty well against an elite team on the road. The Foligno-Regin-Neil line continues to be our best so far in the early stages of the season.
Local Flavor: Former Senator Andrej Meszaros will suit up for the Flyers. So will Gatineau native and Sens killer Daniel Briere. The Flyers also feature former Olympiques Claude Giroux, who has turned into one of the league's star players. They also have Sean Couturier, who many Sens fans were hoping we'd draft last JUne, but who we passed on to pick Zibanejad instead.
Prediction: All signs point to a Sens victory and we do always play well against Philly at home, but I think the Flyers are too tough for us to handle at the moment. We're a team who has only scored 2 total goals in the past 2 games and will struggle to score most of the year. Our defence is not up to par and Philly is filled with snipers peppered in their lineup. I don't see that ending well. Philly wins 5-2.
My record this season: 3-2 with zero exact score predicted.
As always, I will be live tweeting and posting pics live from SBP throughout the game so follow me on twitter to get the latest @SensTown
Pre game thoughts?