The Flyers have an opportunity for atonement tonight, and they need to make the most of it.
Sputtering Philadelphia hosts the hapless Florida Panthers tonight at 7 P.M. at the Wachovia Center. It is the second time the teams meet within a nine-day span. In the team’s previous matchup on Oct. 16, the Panthers took down the Flyers 4-2, with the help of a late Radek Dvorak shorthanded goal, followed by a Steve Reinprecht empty netter. The contest highlighted the Flyers’ inability to hold a lead or take advantage of the struggling Panthers.
After going a lackluster 3-2-1 in their first six games of the season, the Flyers will get yet another chance to begin anew, playing just their second game in 12 days. The first game of three this season against the potential rival Boston Bruins will take place at the Wachovia Center at 7 P.M. Both teams will be wearing knit hats during the warm up skate to promote the Winter Classic.
According to Stefan Legein’s agent Doug Woods, the Flyers have had their eye on his client for quite some time.
Legein, 20, was acquired on Tuesday by the Flyers for defenseman Michael Ratchuk.
“Prior to Stefan being drafted by Columbus, Philadelphia had quite a write-up on him,” Woods told Columbus writer Adam Portzline. “They were very interested in him as a player heading into that draft. So that’s good for Stefan.”
It has been confirmed that the Flyers have traded speedy AHL defenseman Michael Ratchuk to the Syracuse Crunch for 20-year old forward Stefan Legein.
The trade works out simply because Columbus is stacked with young forwards and needs to re-supply puck-moving defenseman, while the Flyers are stacked with young defenseman and could use more young talent at forward.
Amid offensive inconsistency the past two games, in which the Flyers have only scored a total of four goals, coach John Stevens has mixed up the lines once again in an attempt to capture some depth production.
“It’s more because of lack of production,” said Stevens. “We had a three lines before that could all score and a fourth that could chip in and we liked the feel of it better.”
As if the Flyers’ defense wasn’t shaky enough, third-pairing defenseman Ryan Parent left Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers with an apparent groin injury. He will miss up to 10 days and will be replaced on the active roster by Ole-Kristian Tollefsen.
Parent has suffered groin injuries in the past and has recovered fairly quickly from them.
The new third pairing of Tollefsen and Danny Syvret is a combined minus-2 and both individually have been below average. MA Bourdon will likely be called up from the Phantoms as the seventh practice defenseman. The Flyers will be at home for the next three contests.
After six days of fishing, boating and practicing on bad ice at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, FL, the 3-1-1 Flyers are set to take on the struggling 1-4 Panthers at 7:30 P.M. tonight, in what is the first of four meetings this season between the teams.