Flyers Storylines: Tough road trip ahead

Flyers Storylines: Tough road trip ahead

Flyers find their offense

November 10, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Steve Mason is 4-7-1 with a .925 save percentage and 2.34 goals-against average this season. (USA Today Images)

After a week in which they earned three of six available points against three very beatable opponents, the Flyers have a much tougher test ahead of them.

The Flyers will embark on a difficult three-game-in-four-night road trip beginning in Ottawa on Tuesday. They will then travel to Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Winnipeg on Friday.

Coming off a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers, the Flyers will be trying to build some momentum. They entered Sunday ranked 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 5-10-1 record and remained dead last in the Metropolitan Division.

Saturday's victory marked just the second time this season that the Flyers registered more than two goals in a game. Struggling center Claude Giroux snapped a 21-game goal drought with a third-period marker that turned out to be the game-winner.

With that in mind, here are a few storylines we'll be keeping an eye on this week:

More from G?
After registering his first goal of the season against Edmonton, Giroux raised his stick high in the air and a huge weight seemed to be lifted off his shoulders.

You had a feeling the Flyers' captain was going to find the back of the net. Giroux was buzzing the entire game and had several quality scoring chances early on. He finished with four shots on target and was sound positionally.

Giroux played with a lot of emotion. He was diving for pucks, throwing his body around and even snapped his stick in frustration after missing a scoring chance in the second period. His head was in the game.

If the Flyers want to be successful, they'll need more of these type of performances from Giroux. He has one marker and seven helpers through 16 games. That's far from the point-per-game production we've seen from the 25-year-old over the past two seasons.

Now that Giroux has the monkey off his back, he can now loosen his grip on his stick. Was Saturday what he needed to break out? We'll find out soon enough.

Stone Cold Steve Mason
How bad would the Flyers look without Steve Mason?

The Flyers' netminder has been a constant for the team throughout the season. If you take away his 4-7-1 record, his numbers look like he should be playing for a club with a winning record.

Mason has posted a .925 save percentage and 2.34 goals-against average in 12 games. He's consistently given the Flyers a chance to win and, incredibly, hasn't allowed more than three goals in a single contest this year.

It's hard to argue that another Flyer has been better than Mason. More importantly, he's been a good teammate. Not once has he complained about a lack of goal support. He even left his crease to congratulate Giroux on his first tally.

The Flyers began the season expecting Mason to split time with Ray Emery, but it's pretty clear Mason has established himself as the No. 1 goaltender in Philly.

Players to watch
Ottawa: One Senator the Flyers should keep an eye on Tuesday is Bobby Ryan. The New Jersey native has collected three goals and seven assists over his last six games. Ryan is thriving in his first season with the Sens, leading the team with 19 points in 17 games.

Pittsburgh: He's been held pointless in his last two games, but the Flyers will have a tough task in trying to contain Sidney Crosby on Wednesday. The Penguins' captain is a certified Flyers killer, registering 29 goals and 44 assists in 44 games against the orange and black.

Winnipeg: Bryan Little is off to a marvelous start for the Jets. He's already tallied more markers this season (10) than he did all of 2013 (seven). He has a team-high 15 points through 18 games. The Flyers will have to deal with the speedy center on Friday.

Hitting the road
Maybe some time away from the Wells Fargo Center will be a good thing for the orange and black.

In their first 10 games at home the season, the Flyers have gone just 3-7-0. They've been shut out twice in Philadelphia and have totaled just 15 goals.

They haven't fared much better on the road, going 2-3-1 with 11 markers in six contests.

On the farm
Terry Murray's Adirondack Phantoms are on fire. After dispatching the Albany Devils 2-0 on Saturday, the Phantoms have won six consecutive games.

Cal Heeter is off to a great start. He's 4-2-0 with a .941 save percentage and 1.95 goals-against average. Nick Cousins leads Adirondack in scoring with three goals and six assists in 13 games.

The Phantoms will play their third game in as many days when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 3 p.m.