Gameday vs Toronto: Flyers Open Season Against Leafs
Philadelphia Flyers (0-0-0) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (1-0-0)
Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia, PA
7:30 p.m. on CSN and 97.5 FM The Fanatic
Setting the Stage
The Flyers will be tested in their first action of the regular season with a physical Toronto team fresh off it's first playoff appearance in a decade.
This isn't the first game for Toronto though, who beat Montreal 4-3 last night at the Bell Centre. Ex-Flyer James vanRiemsdyke scored the first goal of the NHL season for the Leafs, and Mason Raymond's goal in the third period proved to be the difference-maker.
The Flyers have dressed tough guy Jay Rosehill to counter the goons of Toronto, and the gritty Adam Hall as the fourth line center for penalty kill and defensive purposes. They chose to scratch Scott Laughton as well as blueliners Erik Gustafsson and Hal Gill.
What to Expect
The Flyers already have the early advantage with Toronto playing last night. Getting out to a fast start will be the challenge though.
It'll also be the debuts of defenseman Mark Streit and Vincent Lecavalier for the Flyers. Both will look to make a good first impression on the home fans.
The Masked Men
Philadelphia - Steve Mason will make the first start of the Flyers season. He will be in a season-long battle with Ray Emery, but it's expected he will get the lion's share of starts. Mason was 4-2 with a 1.90 GAA and .944 save percentage.
Toronto - Newly acquired Jonathan Bernier will get the start tonight for the Maple Leafs. Toronto traded for Bernier in the offseason to compete with James Reimer, who started in yesterday's win.
Keys to the Game
1. Fast Start - Toronto could be tired. A fast start will give the Flyers an early edge and hopefully get on the board first. They have a lot of speed on their top two lines with a lot of scoring prowess. Pace has been a worry the last week of preseason, so tonight is a good opportunity to quell those worries.
2. Good Start for Mason/Emery -
3. Grit - Toronto is a physical team and this is no surprise. Colton Orr and Carter Ashton combined for three fights yesterday, and could get their hands dirty again tonight. Rosehill and Rinaldo are going to be the answers for the Flyers while agitators Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds will look to rattle the cages a bit.
“It seemed like we packed it in. If one thing goes wrong out, whether it a be bad call or the first goal on that power play where [Milan Lucic/Tyler Seguin] made a great play, you look down the bench and everyone’s heads are down.” -- Scott Hartnell after Saturday's 3-0 loss to Boston.