The Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers complete the backend of a mini two-game series at Wells Fargo in Philadelphia. The Hurricanes will be looking for the sweep after they dispatched the Flyers, 3-1, on New Year’s Eve in Raleigh. They haven’t played since that game, while the Flyers were blanked by the Predators on New Years the following day. Carter Hart started the evening out against the Hurricanes in the first meeting, but was bumped to the bench after allowing 3 goals on 10 shots.
Michal Neuvirth got the call off the bench and he was perfect with 23 saves in relief duty. Neuvirth has to get trust back with management after he was awful to start the season, and then went on the IR for over two months. His performance against the Hurricanes helps, but any trust he got went out the window against the Predators. Neuvirth allowed 4 goals the following day to pretty much suck any confidence he created against the Hurricanes out the window.
The Flyers will likely go back to Hart in net at home. It’s likely head coach Scott Gordon will give him another crack at the Hurricanes after faltering in Raleigh. It’s been a tough year for the Flyers, who saw their head coach get fired and enter tonight with a record of 15-19-5.
Firing Dave Hakstol might have been a good start, but there are several other holes that have to be fixed. It’s certainly something that isn’t just going to happen overnight. Gordon is currently the interim head coach, so for his sake, it’d be the most beneficial to him if the Flyers play good hockey.
If this is their plateau this season, it’s highly unlikely Gordon stays around in Philadelphia. He has to show he can get more of this team than Hakstol could. On a four-game losing streak and 3-7 in their last ten, it’s tough to say that he is. The Hurricanes won just their third game in their last ten games over the Flyers on New Year’s Eve. They’ve dropped to below .500 with a record of 16-17-3 following this cold streak. Head below for our free Hurricanes vs. Flyers pick.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick
Expecting much out of the Hurricanes this season wasn’t the most realistic scenario. After Elias Lindholm and Jeff Skinner departed for different cities, the Hurricanes lost two quality playmakers. Sebastian Aho leads the team with 15 goals, while Michael Ferland and Andrei Svechnikov are the only other players in double digits. For the Flyers, predictably so, Claude Giroux is shoulders above the rest on their roster.
Giroux has notched 44 points, with the next closest Flyer, Jakub Voracek in 2nd with 30 points. The Flyers have been cold offensively recently, but Carolina hasn’t been able to buy a goal on the road this season. The Hurricanes have averaged just 2.06 goals per game on the road in 2018-19. Subtracting Lindholm and Skinner from an already average offence is going to do that.
Overall on the year, the Hurricanes have slipped to 29th with 2.45 goals per game. In their last ten games, they’ve scored 2.3 goals per game while allowing 3.1 goals. The Hurricanes have scored just 4 goals in their previous three games, but the Flyers have notched just 2 after getting shutout by the Predators.
The Flyers were on a back-to-back and had no intentions of playing in Nashville. Neither team are particularly playing good hockey, but following poor efforts in Raleigh in Nashville, the Flyers should return home to a win over a Hurricanes team who have been dysfunctional offensively on the road. They’ve also gone 2-5 in their last seven trips to Philadelphia. Give me the Flyers to resemble an actual complete team for a night on Thursday.