Before I head over to the Flyers-Penguins game at the Wachovia Center this afternoon, I'm planning to get my picture taken with Santa the Commissioner's Trophy at the Majestic store, so I'll keep this short.
The Flyers and Pens are knotted in the standings, just a few points back from the Atlantic-leading Rangers. The last time they faced each other, the Flyers were down early, but stormed back to go up on the Pens, then coughed up the lead, went to OT and a shootout, where they lost. Today, they're coming off an energy-boosting comeback win over the Hurricanes, one in which they got smacked around for 40 minutes before finally realizing they were a much better team than Carolina.
But Sam Carchidi of the Inq points out that the Flyers know that if they play anything less than 60 minutes today, they'll likely lose. Every fan heading to the game today knows it too. The Pens are a great team with a lot of scorers spread over their lines. Fortunately, so are the Flyers. Marty Biron will be in goal today, looking for a huge game. More than likely, the forwards will have to keep pace with the Pens' attack though, and the defense will need to play better than they have lately.
It sounds as though they'll have Matt Carle back today; he skated at practice yesterday and put his chances of playing today at 90%, which is great news considering that earlier in the week, his timetable with an odd rib/back injury was indefinite.
Opposing Players to Watch: League darling Sidney Crosby will be in the building today, as will his better half Evgeni Malkin. Malkin has 48 mouth-agape points on the strength of 36 assists... As of Friday, Michel Therrien wouldn't say who would be in goal for the Pens. Marc-Andre Fleury has missed 12 games with an injury, with Dany Sabourin filling in, but MAF has been cleared to play. Before getting hurt, the Pens' G1 was 8-3-2 with a 2.86 GAA. Despite a much better goals against (2.20), Sabourin's record while filling in is 6-5-1. So, pick your poison.