The Winter Classic has come and gone and with the monumentally disappointing loss to the New York Rangers at Citizens Bank Park now in the rear-view mirror, so too is the huge distraction that can only be described as the NHL's closest single day on their schedule comparable to the Super Bowl.
The distraction of the Classic and accompanying media and HBO coverage was detrimental in the short term, at least to one $51 million goaltender. But it may prove beneficial in the long run, as the young Broad Street Bullies deal with the adversities of playing in a major market before the pressures of the unforgiving playoffs begin.
The Flyers return to the Wells Fargo Center for the first time since being beaten down by the Boston Bruins to the tune to 6-0.
There are quite a few storylines to follow as the Fly Guys begin the post-Winter Classic, unofficial second half playoff chase, and it seems tonight's contest with the Chicago Blackhawks is one of those "...and we'll go from there"-type of games where performances tonight will be judged. The conclusions about the second half of the season will be drawn based on those judgements.
With all of that said, there are five particular players I'll be paying close attention to tonight for a few specific reasons.
Enough of a build up? Let us begin.