The Flyers have just one regulation loss so far this season. The scheduling gods must have a sick sense of humor to start the Blues on yet another road trip with Philadelphia.
Remember that great win last night? Yeah. Good times. Now, forget all about that because the Blues get to go to one of the toughest cities to be the visiting team in to face a Flyers squad with just one regulation loss all year. Tonight is one hell of a way to begin a four game road trip - the second half of back to back games that required a flight to Philadelphia from St. Louis. The Blues are going to have to focus and regroup amazingly quickly if they want to have a prayer in Philadelphia.
This isn't last year's Flyers, which is saying something considering how good last year's Flyers were. Gone is the Jeff Carter/Mike Richards gong show. Gone is the carousel of goaltenders. Gone is the stupidity of Daniel Carcillo (who is probably plotting a way to cost Chicago a game right now). These guys are tough, as any team under the captaincy of Chris Pronger is, and they want to win. They want to make it back to the Stanley Cup finals and they want a different ending. The Blues want to make the playoffs.
Differences in motivation there, no?
Helpful to the cause would be a power-play goal, which is currently cruising along at an 0-for-20 clip. Possibly some effective penalty killing so the team can move out of the league's basement in that category? Or - and this might be extremely radical thinking - a solid start from Jaroslav Halak? He has a boggling 4.18 GAA in his last three starts. Granted, he has had some success against Philadelphia with a 4-2-0 record and a 2.27 GAA in his starts against Philly. The last time he faced them was opening night for St. Louis last year, when he stopped 29 of 30 shots on goal. Elliott has a 0-2-0 record against Philly with a whopping 5.86 GAA, but you have to keep in mind that he played for an Ottawa Senators team that was the doormat of the Eastern Conference through most of the season.
According to Jeremy Rutherford, Blues fans may be seeing the rarest of all things tonight: back to back starts for a back-up goaltender on back-to-back nights. Elliott is the hot hand right now. Would it be a decent plan to sit Halak until he clears the cobwebs out of his head? I'm not sure if it's on-ice or off-ice problems that're dragging Halak down, but he needs to evaluate what it means to be a starter ASAP.