It's not quite the Mike Richards homecoming game of October 15, but the Flyers will host a former compatriot tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, with Brian Boucher getting the start in net for the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes of course are the club that current Flyers boss Peter Laviolette won a Stanley Cup with in 2006.
Cam Ward was on the ice when Carolina lifted that Cup, but he'll get the night off after posting a 3-0 shutout of the Blackhawks last night. Boosh hasn't found the win column in either of his two starts, giving up nine goals on 60 shots, five of which came in a loss to the Winnipeg Jets last Saturday. His counterpart tonight knows something about getting whipped by the Jets…
[Update: The Flyers say Danny Briere will miss the game with an upper-body injury.]
Despite Ilya Bryzgalov struggling mightily behind a soft and leaky defense, proclaiming after his last appearance that he has no confidence in himself right now, that he's "lost in the woods." His head coach is showing at least some confidence in his ability to snap out of it sooner rather than later though, sending him back to the crease immediately.
The last two teams the Flyers have faced (and lost to) came into those matchups with terrible records so far on the season. Tonight's opponent does not share that distinction, coming in with a 4-3-3 record. The Canes have been streaky to date, losing their first three of the season, winning their next three, followed by three more losses before winning last night. Hopefully that trend doesn't continue this evening.
Tim Panaccio says Briere's injury is minor, and he's expected back in time for the Buffalo game.
It's pretty obvious what we need to see out of the Flyers tonight. Get tougher on defense, more uh… confident in net, and keep their foot on the gas offensively. Lost in the carnage of Thursday night was a brilliant offensive showing. Hopefully they can stop the post-Pronger injury special teams bleeding.
Gotta be better than the last two, right?
Photo by Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE