The Eagles have a week in Dallas.
Is this the week in Pittsburgh for the Flyers?
With a match for April scheduled for this week, the Flyers play three road games against the Penguins on Tuesday (19:00 ET / NBCSP), Thursday (19:00 ET / NBCSP) and Saturday (13:00 ET / NBCSP) .
Before the domestic set of three games, let’s get into our last three Flyers thoughts.
1. Flyers connections in Pittsburgh
The Flyers are 11-4-3 with 25 points and the Penguins are 11-8-1 with 23 points. Both clubs meet for the first time since the opening of the two-game season, in which the Flyers scored a combined 1
There are always intrigues in Flyers-Penguins matches, but there are some fresh and fun storylines to this series.
Former Flyers general manager Ron Hextal is now the general manager of the penguins. Last weekend, Hextall brought on board Chris Pryor as his new director of players. Pryor was Hextall’s right-hand man in Philadelphia and spent 20 years in the Flyers organization. He was instrumental in the team’s renewed scouting efforts during Hextall and the franchise’s talent appreciation dating back to the early 2000s.
When the Flyers play with the Penguins this week, Hextall and Pryor will see many players scouting, composing and developing in Philadelphia. Pryor’s handiwork goes back to people like Claude Giroud and Sean Couturier.
Hextall brought one of their pickups for Flyers projects in 2014 to Pittsburgh last week when the Penguins demanded a waiver from Mark Friedman. The flyers had to get Friedman through if they wanted to put him on their taxi team. Friedman has not yet made his Pittsburgh debut; maybe this is coming against the Flyers this week.
“We knew we were taking a risk, but we wanted to have the opportunity to play [Nate] Prosser, if necessary, “Flyers head coach Alain Vigno said last Friday.” To do that, we had to make Mark available. He is a good, young player and was taken from Pittsburgh. We wish him nothing but the best. I talked to him after they took him, he was excited. We wish him nothing but the best. “
2. Installation in Konecny
Travis Ultimate skated Monday and headed to Pittsburgh to rejoin the Flyers after a 14-day stay on the NHL’s COVID protocol list. The Flyers 2020 All-Star is expected to take part in the club’s morning rink on Tuesday and is considered a decision during the game.
It’s a pure premonition, but it seems plausible Nolan Patrick could play in Pittsburgh. Vigneault said last Friday that it could rotate staff back and forth because of a busy team of six games in nine days.
In the last 11 games Patrick was left without a result with four shots. The Nature Center has played right-wing in the last three Flyers second-line games with Kevin Hayes and Giroud. Vigneault moved Patrick to the right wing, “to help him get a little here,” the head coach said last Tuesday.
Konecny is a right winger and an obvious candidate for the second line. The first line remained together, and the third line of Oscar Lindblom, Scott Lawton and Jakub Voracek was good in the match of Buffalo from Flyers. Vigneault also liked the efficiency of the fourth line, which was centered by Connor Bunnaman.
In Flyers’ 3-0 victory over the Sabers on Sunday, Patrick played 13:30 minutes and only 3:22 in the third period, while the Flyers closed things off. Patrick will probably return to the center in the bottom six at some point. On the positive side, Patrick is healthy and has played all 18 games after missing 2019-20 due to a migraine disorder. Before the season opened, Patrick had not played an NHL game in more than 650 days.
“It took me a while to find my game and I feel like the last few games, I’ve been in the right direction and I’m playing more confidently, getting closer to the top of my game,” Patrick said last Friday after his first game on the right wing. “Obviously it’s hard to miss so much time, but I feel good and have fun coming back.”
Vigneault sat on 24-year-old defender Philippe Myers for a weekend game. Allowing Patrick to watch a game and restart physically and mentally would not be the worst thing for a 22-year-old.
3. The buzz of Ekholm
Tony Androkitis of InsideAHLHockey.com reported that the Predators scouted the game at the AHL Lehigh Valley subsidiary last Saturday night.
Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun recently noted how Nashville (10-11-0) could aim to retool and 30-year-old defender Matthias Ekholm could be one of his biggest trading chips. LeBrun has identified Flyers as a team it considers potentially suitable for Ekholm. CapFriendly.com Ekholm has $ 3.75 million and could become an unlimited free agent after the 2021-22 season.
There is still time before the deadline for trading in the NHL, which is April 12. March will be a landmark month for the Flyers, who are now healthy behind and stopping back. They were much more like the club that grew during the 2019-20 regular season.
In short: give him some more time and then we will see around April if the Flyers need outside help for the defense.
More on these topics here with the Flyers Talk podcast
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