With All-Star festivities finished, thank goodness, regular season action returns on Monday with a couple of games. February to early April separates the men from the boys. For teams who are on the playoff fence right now, there isn’t much room to make many mistakes down the stretch. Every game and point becomes even more important.
The Philadelphia Flyers can ignore this comment, because their best route for the rest of the season is to tank. 14 points behind the Penguins for the final wildcard, the Flyers have a better chance of winning the draft lottery than catching fire and going to the playoffs.
Jack Hughes is up for grabs, and in all likelihood, will be off the board after the first selection. With a record of 19-23-6, the Flyers are a point ahead of the Senators and Devils who are tied for last in the league. Part of their struggles has been unavoidable. They can’t control injuries and their goaltending situation has been murky.
With Michal Neuvirth already injured to start the season, something happening to Brian Elliott was going to cause a headache for management. It happened and then they went to the minors again and again. The Flyers have gone through seven different goaltenders in net.
They recently had to go to the waiver wire to grab Mike McKenna in a play of desperation. McKenna is currently in a backup role with the Flyers after the Sens had no more patience. Carter Hart was loaned to the Phantoms over the All-Star break, setting up the return of Anthony Stolarz. Hart is going to get the starting nod against the Jets tonight, while Stolarz is expected to play against the Rangers on Tuesday. The Jets enter with a record of 31-15-2, which puts them in a tie with the Predators in the Central. Trap game in Philadelphia after the break? Head below for our free Jets vs. Flyers pick.
Winnipeg Jets vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick
The Jets left off with a loss against the Stars before the All-Star break. However, they have still won four of their last five games and winners in six of their previous eight games. They are pretty well on pace from last season, despite losing Paul Stastny in the offseason. Stastny is playing with the same team who beat the Jets in the playoffs last season, the Vegas Golden Knights.
They very well could be on a path to meeting again in the playoffs. As far as tonight is concerned, the Jets and Flyers will meet for the second time this season. Their first meeting was a blowout, with the Jets steamrolling the Flyers by a score of 7-1. Seven different Jets got on the board in that December meeting.
The Flyers went into the break on a nice three-game winning streak and wins in four of their last five games. Not bad for a team who has had trouble getting traction in 2018-19. This was ahead of an eight-game losing streak, so they can’t get too excited. The Flyers have scored an average of 2.85 goals per game, while allowing 3.52 goals per game. Hart enters with a decent 2.66 GAA and 0.918 save percentage. Elliott had a 2.59 GAA and 0.911 save percentage before he went down, so Hart has kept this team afloat in the face of disaster in net.
Despite leaving for the break with a loss, the Jets have been strong with 3.7 goals and 2.6 goals allowed in their last ten games. For a team like the Flyers, though, I think the break was the worst thing that could have happened to them. They finally got over the flu of an eight-game losing streak and put together three wins in a row.
That momentum had to come to a pause because of the All-Star break. Laurent Brossoit is expected to be in net tonight, as he hopes to continue his hot run from the first-half. He has a 2.01 GAA and 0.943 save percentage to give the Jets one of the best 1-2 tandems in net. The Flyers have been on a run, but I think that comes to a halt on the other side of their time off against the Jets on Monday.