This image pretty well sums up the relationship between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Islanders over the past few seasons. Each year the Flyers continue to find ways to motor forward, while the Islanders can’t seem to discover a firm footing. Even in that awful 2006-07 season, Paul Holmgren made moves to solidfy his team for the next several years by acquiring Martin Biron, Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, and Braydon Coburn at the deadline. Garth Snow sacrificed a lot for Ryan Smyth, only to lose him on July 1.
That doesn’t mean tonight will be a glide through the park for the Flyers. Yes, they finally reached .500, and yes, Biron appeared to relocate his game against the New Jersey Devils. But let’s consider this fact: the Flyers still need 2 points to tie for eighth in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Somewhat shocking, but true.
The Flyers had the home-ice practice this morning, so hopefully they will take the home-ice advantage tonight and win one for the fans. Almost all things about this move sound positive to me. It makes complete sense for the team to warm up on the actual surface and conditions they will face during the game. My only concern is how the shift might impact Simon Gagne, the only player to vote against the move. I understand that he’s a professional and he will cope, but he is the key offensive player for this team. It’s important that he is happy and running on all cylinders. I suppose we’ll see.
If you’re going to the game - like I am - make sure to wear your Halloween garb. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. It should be quite a festive affair since the NHL’s two orange teams are competing.
As I said, I will be at the game, which means no in-game blog for the evening. I will