Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Big week ahead for the Flyers

Seven straight losses. Think about it. Seven straight games with no points, not even an overtime tie! It’s a tough time to be a Flyers fan. The team has gone from penthouse to outhouse in record fashion. Yes, they have already won more games this season than they did last year, but with their solid start and scorching January, expectations began to rise for this club. After their recent performance, a few more losses might put the Flyers outside of the playoff picture.

Things don't get any easier for the Flyers this week, with the Senators and Sharks the opponents. The recent acquisition of Jaroslav Modry, while not a bad deal, is not enough to turn this around. The team needs to come together and fight their way out of this mess. Players that have been struggling lately, like Danny Briere and Jim Vandermeer, need to get out of their funks. Just one win can bring all of the confidence back. Another loss, and there might be no coming back.

*Roster Moves As I discussed yesterday, prospect Claude Giroux will be making his debut for the Flyers tonight. The Flyers are just going to get a glimpse of Giroux's potential for a few games, as he won't be with the club for long. Giroux will only be with the Flyers until someone comes back from an injury. He isn't the savior that this team is looking for, either. The Flyers also recalled Stefan Ruzicka from the Phantoms. Ruzicka is not much of a prospect, and has had 16 points in 53 career games with the big club.

*Tonights Lines Claude Giroux will likely be playing on the first line, which suits his playmaking abilities. Here are the lines projected by Bill Meltzer for tonights game:

Hartnell - Briere - Giroux
Umberger - Richards - Kapanen
Upshall - Carter - Knuble
Cote - Dowd - Ruzicka

Timonen- Vandermeer
Jones - Coburn
Smith - Parent

There has been some talk that Vandermeer will sit when Modry joins up with the team on Thursday, but Meltzer speculates that Jason Smith might rest because he is pretty banged up. Lasse Kukkonen may also play some as a forward tonight, which would mean Ruzicka wouldn't suit up.

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