The Flyers have jumped into first place in the Atlantic riding a four game win streak during which they outscored their opponents 18-8. They will take on the second place New York Rangers tonight.
With a regulation win tonight the Rangers would be tied with the Flyers in points, but they would jump ahead of Philly because they have a game in hand.
As of now the Flyers are riding high with production coming from all their top players. Claude Giroux leads the squad with 12 points while Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Ville Leino also have double digit totals.
Defensively it looks like Sergei Bobrovsky has claimed the starting goaltender role in the absence of Michael Leighton. Bobrovsky has six wins in eight starts with a solid 2.30 GAA and .918 win percentage.
The story with the New Jersey Devils continues to be their lack of production. Coming off only their fourth win of the season, the Devils must now deal with injuries to Zach Parise and Martin Brodeur.
Having played 14 games already (second most in the league behind Chicago) the Devils still have the lowest amount of goals scored in the NHL by far. The loss of Parise is detrimental and they will look to their 100 million dollar man, Ilya Kovalchuk for the answer. Brodeur’s injury is much less severe and expects to be in the lineup on Friday night.
The loss of Brodeur would be a back-breaker for a team who’s allowing the most goals in the league. For now it looks like Marty will be fine and they will just have to find someone to replace Parise.
After a hot start to the season, the New York Islanders lost five straight games.
The once hot Islander defense seems to have fizzled along with the once point producing offense. The goal production is evenly spread out among the top players but there’s just not enough of it. Rick DiPietro and Dwayne Roloson are equally inconsistent while Roloson holds the edge over DiPietro with a much lower GAA and a higher save percentage.
The Isles are starting to look like last year’s version where they couldn’t get it done on either ends of the ice. The next few weeks will give us a better picture of this team’s true identity. Hopefully for Islanders fans, the team they saw in the beginning of the season is the team that will re-emerge in November.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are still trying to click in certain areas, but they are winning enough to stay in the Atlantic Divison race and soon enough they will emerge as a top team in this league. For now they are allowing too many goals and the tandem of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin is behind in their usual scoring pace. Like all great players and great teams, the Penguins will find a way to gel and fight for that top spot in the Atlantic.
The Rangers are playing similar hockey as compared to the Penguins and for the Rangers that’s a good thing. They are winning more than they are losing and for once they are getting scoring from players other than the featured team goal-scorer who is presently out with an injury.