It has been a long two days. Since being embarrassed in Game One, the Flyers took yesterday off to watch video. Presumably, they were there for awhile.
A lot went wrong in Game One, but as Chris Pronger said, “a loss is a loss.” It’s one game. As they prepare for Game Two, they have a lot of work to do, but they are still only down one game. Tonight, they can erase that loss by tying the series.
At the morning skate today, the Flyers were again without Jeff Carter, Andreas Nodl, and Michael Leighton. They were also without Chris Pronger, though reports are that he will play. Rumors flew as to why he was absent, going from his back to his hand to a cold, but it is difficult to see Pronger missing tonight’s game.
In net tonight will be Brian Boucher, attempting to rebound from a poor performance. Nobody can blame Boucher for the Game One loss, but he will have to play better in Game Two. Unlike last round – when he was pulled in Game 5 – he will get the chance to make up for it in the following game.
Look for Zac Rinaldo to play once again, as he joined Jody Shelley again at practice. In Game One, Rinaldo played 3:50, registering two hits, taking a minor for goaltender interference and receiving a ten-minute misconduct halfway through the third period. If he plays, that line is unlikely to change.
The big things to watch for tonight, besides Pronger’s status and Boucher’s play, are how the team rebounds from a terrible defensive performance and how Peter Laviolette rebounds from a terrible coaching performance. On home ice, Laviolette needs to do a better job at keeping Danny Briere away from David Krejci and Zdeno Chara, something he couldn’t do in Game One. He also needs to match Mike Richards and Kris Versteeg up against the Krejci line, which he did not do last game either.
The game is on Versus tonight and starts at 7:30. Hopefully the Flyers are ready to play.