With the Eagles kicking off their off-season yesterday, the Phillies still a month away from welcoming back pitchers and catchers, and the Sixers setting their sights on .500, the city turns its eyes to the Flyers. Of course, many fans have been following their every move already, but those who haven't will find a first-place team that actually looks better than the squad that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals this spring.
After a hot start, Sergei Bobrovsky has been watching a lot more hockey than he's played lately. When he takes the ice as the Flyers starter tonight, he'll be looking to erase the bad taste left from his previous two starts, and maybe start a hot streak of his own. Brian Boucher has been the favorite son lately, but Peter Laviolette has jockeyed his goalies enough to show that the only thing he's concerned with is playing the hottest goalie until one of them proves otherwise.
So far, it's worked out well, and each goalie has taken his turn in stepping up. As the second half begins, will one emerge as the clear-cut guy in net though?
As fans, it's hard not to want one goalie to put all our faith in. Goaltending was ultimately an element that fell short when it counted most last season, and no one wants to see that happen again. But at least for now, we'll have to be patient while the situation works itself out. There's still plenty of time left in the season, which is at its exact halfway point going into tonight's action for the Flyers.
Opposite Bobrovsky will be Ryan Miller. Miller Time's stats on the season aren't particularly gaudy, but stats can be deceiving, and most importantly for our interests, he's playing well heading into tonight's action. Miller has won four of his last five starts, three of which went to overtime. In his last start against the Flyers though, they lit him up for five goals back in late October.
The Sabres are also starting their second half tonight, only they're on the outside looking in at the playoff field. Only eight points separate the first through eighth seeds in the East right now, but the Sabres are eight points back of the field. Meanwhile, the Flyers have an opportunity to put some points between themselves and the Penguins, with whom they keep flip-flopping first and fourth place due to the top-three seeding being based on division leaders. Sidney Crosby is out temporarily, and the Flyers have played three fewer games.
The action is on Versus.