The Philadelphia Flyers are road trippin', tonight's visit being their third stop on a four-game swing that began with a 6-4 loss in Ottawa followed by a 2-1 win in Raleigh. There has been no Winter Classic hangover: Since was stoned on that made-for-TV penalty shot the Flyers have won three of four, with all four being a one-goal margin save for an extra empty netter conceded to the Senators.
Ilya Bryzgalov received three of those starts and continued his Dr. Ilya and Mr. Hyde routine: He can be a good goalie, he can be a bad goalie. The only guarantee is he's signed for too much and too long but will be entertaining win or lose.
In their attempt to tourniquet the bleeding that has them 1-17-5 against the Flyers since before this website existed, the Islanders will play the same lineup (including starter Evgeni Nabokov) that trounced Detroit 5-1.
With the Islanders 5-0-1 against the Wings during roughly the same span they've been a grotesque 1-17-5 against Philly, I'm sure you're dreaming of creative realignment scenarios, since Jack Capuano's timeout tendencies clearly unnerve the very foundation upon which Mike Babcock's success rests. Alas, even with that "careful what you wish for" swap, you'd still have to separately petition the league to contract Pittsburgh just on principle.
The only previous meeting this season, the Islanders grabbed a 3-1 lead but blew it and lost in OT.
Apologies for the very brief gameday post. Leave your First Islanders Goal picks (aka "Moulson, or Tavares?") in this thread.
The All-Star Game rosters will be announced later today.
And on the Flyers side, with their blueline taking so many injury hits, you know there will be a stir if they actually pursue Ryan Suter. Or maybe it will be Luke Schenn. When you spend to the cap and beyond, every big fish becomes the sportswriter's fodder.
Tonight's Prediction: Probably Briere scores. Probably Matt Moulson too.