Red Wings vs. Flyers NHL Pick – December 18th

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<p>The rumours have finally been extinguished in Philadelphia. Dave Hakstol is out as the bench boss for the Flyers, who will not be replace by Joel Quenneville. The Flyers would have had to unload their bank accounts to attract Quenneville to Philadelphia. Who knows if he would have wanted to coach there anyway. There is talent on the Flyers, but I don’t think he would have provided an immediate fix. I still say his best option might be in Seattle with the new expansion franchise. </p>
<p>He can start with a fresh slate and construct the team how he wishes. I imagine ownership would allow him to have a serious say in decision making. Coaching an expansion team certainly worked for Gerard Gallant in Las Vegas. With the favourable rules for expansion teams now, it makes more sense for coaches to want to take on the job. </p>
<p>For the Flyers, they opted to keep it close to home with the promotion of Scott Gordon from the AHL. The Avalanche went in a similar direction when they had to find a new head coach and it’s worked out for them, as we’ve seen with their steady rise in the Western Conference this season. Note that Gordon has been hired on an interim basis, so the rest of the season is pretty big for him. If he can </p>
<p>The Flyers have been a team stuck influx for over a year, though. It wasn’t working with Hakstol’s system, so we’ll see what Gordon can bring to the table. They face the Detroit Red Wings in their first game without Hakstol behind the bench on Tuesday night. The Red Wings have been playing sneaky good hockey since an atrocious October. We’ll see if they can ruin Gordon’s head coaching debut in Philadelphia with a win tonight. Head below for our free Red Wings vs. Flyers pick. </p>
<h2 class=Detroit Red Wings vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick

The Red Wings started the season off on an ugly streak with just one win in ten attempts. Their lone win came against the Florida Panthers in overtime. Following that disaster, the Red Wings won seven of their next eight games to turn things around. They are in the midst of a three-game losing streak at the moment. A loss tonight would give the Wings their longest losing streak since the start of the season.

The Wings went with Jonathan Bernier in net for two of their last three losses. Jimmy Howard has been one of the MVP’s and a catalyst for getting their team back to .500 this season. There is a notable drop off from Howard to Bernier in net. Howard owns a 2.69 GAA and 0.922 save percentage, as opposed to a 3.58 GAA and 0.89 save percentage for Bernier. The Flyers will give 20-year-old Carter Hart is first career start in the NHL against the Wings this evening.

Goaltending has been dicey in Philadelphia, with the injuries to Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth. They’ve gone through multiple guys in net with varying levels of success. Anthony Stolarz who started the year in the AHL was recently moved to the IR, so another one bites the dust. Hart has spent his season in Lehigh waiting to get the call up to make his first ever start in the NHL. As a result of several injuries, he’s going to get his shot.

He will get it tonight against the Red Wings. Hart has posted a 3.05 GAA and 0.901 save percentage in the AHL, his first season there as well. Everything has been coming at him fast, but a dream will be accomplished for him on Tuesday night. His team hasn’t been sharp at home this season, with 2.79 goals scored per game while allowing 3.5 goals per game. The price on the Flyers here looks way too expensive. Expecting them to flip a switch and look like a new team in day No. 1 of Gordon’s tenure is asking a lot. All of the value is with the Red Wings to spoil Hart and Gordon’s debut on Tuesday night.

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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.