Preview: Flyers host desperate Panthers

Mar 21, 2023 - 5:00 PM
Florida Panthers v <a href=Philadelphia Flyers" src="" />
Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers can either play spoiler tonight or get caught off-guard as they are facing a team extremely desperate for any points they can get.

Flyers vs. Panthers

When: 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Before tonight’s puck has been dropped, the visiting Florida Panthers are holding on to the final Wild Card spot with everything they have. The Pittsburgh Penguins are just one point below them and slightly further down, you have the surging Ottawa Senators that are trying to go for a late-season push into the postseason. The Panthers need to make the playoffs more than anyone, to prove that the significant moves they made on the bench and behind it in the summer, were worth it in the short-term.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia things are just the same as they have been all season long. Hoping for the young guys to show what they have at the NHL level and the result really doesn’t matter at all. We’re just counting down the days and doing the math until we can really not care about the results, and cheer for the losses more than we already are.

Maybe these guys should just do Florida a favor and make it easy for them. In turn, it would also be hilarious to see the Penguins miss the playoffs because of these two points.

Projected Flyers lineup

Joel Farabee — Noah Cates — Owen Tippett
Kevin Hayes — Scott Laughton — Wade Allison
Brendan Lemieux — Morgan Frost — Tyson Foerster
Nicolas Deslauriers — Tanner Laczynski — James van Riemsdyk

Ivan Provorov — Cam York
Travis Sanheim — Rasmus Ristolainen
Nick Seeler — Tony DeAngelo

Carter Hart
Felix Sandstrom

As more young guys get their opportunity with the Flyers, we’re seeing the lineup steadily become something actually resembling a team with depth. Now, maybe it is just the fact that the Flyers have four good third lines and three pairs that would make a perfect bottom pairing on a Stanley Cup contender, but at least we don’t have to wallow in the misery that was watching some no-names play at The Farg.

Projected Panthers lineup

Eetu Luostarinen — Aleksander Barkov — Sam Reinhart
Carter Verhaeghe — Sam Bennett — Matthew Tkachuk
Ryan Lomberg — Anton Lundell — Anthony Duclair
Nick Cousins — Eric Staal — Colin White

Gustav Forsling — Aaron Ekblad
Marc Staal — Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura — Radko Gudas

Alex Lyon
Sergei Bobrovsky

If the Flyers are going to just run out a deep lineup, the Panthers will get you with their top-end. With a deadly trio like Barkov, Reinhart, and Tkachuk taking up half of your top-six forward group, and then sprinkling in other very key forwards like Verhaeghe, Duclair, Bennett, and young Lundell in the mix, there is danger in this top-heavy lineup.

But even some good teams suffer from players not really belonging on them, as Marc Staal is somehow still in this league.

Plus, we get to potentially see our old friend Alex Lyon try to stop pucks.

Player to watch

Tyson Foerster

One of the only reasons we really care about watching the Flyers right now, Foerster has looked the part since making his NHL debut recently. In just five games, the 21-year-old already has a goal and two assists to his name and appears to be very active in the team’s offense.

Foerster is already getting a big opportunity — he played for over 17 minutes against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday — so let’s just hope he gets to shine even more tonight.

Matthew Tkachuk

Do we really need to explain why you should be paying attention to Tkachuk whenever he is on the ice? Not even just for his ability to tear down defenses and produce alongside anyone, but he is the premier pest in the entire NHL and is someone that brings as much entertainment to the game as anyone else.

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