Tonight the Panthers attempt to rebound from a brutal weekend loss in St. Louis. Are the Flyers easy prey, or do they have a trick or two up their sleeve after a coaching change? I caught up with Travis Hughes over at Broad Street Hockey to ask a few questions from the LBC community.
John (LBC): Do you think Mason-Emery is an upgrade from last season or are you generally disgusted with the situation?
Travis (BSH): It's an upgrade, but that's basically because anything would have been an upgrade. We expect at least one of Ray Emery or Steve Mason to play well this season, and hopefully one of them will give the Flyers consistency in net. The Flyers got sub-.900 goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov last season, and it can't get much worse than that.
Maple (LBC): What are your expectations this season for recently added Vincent Lecavalier? Is what you've seen so far about what you expected?
Travis: Lecavalier has been arguably the Flyers best forward thus far. He gives them a true second-line dynamic, and he seems dangerous whenever he has the puck on his stick. He's basically a better version of Danny Briere, and while the entire team hasn't looked good for at least two of the three losses so far, Vinny's been a high point and we're definitely excited about what he can bring to the team long-term.
Kevin (LBC): Philadelphia's penalty kill, on paper, looks somewhat pedestrian thus far. What can the Flyers coaching staff do to address this obvious shortcoming?
Travis: Believe it or not, the PK has actually been a brighter spot for the Flyers. That shows you how bad things have gone in the first three games. They've allowed three power play goals, but they've been shorthanded a league-leading 15 times. The PK has looked okay and there's room for improvement, but there are much bigger questions -- namely, the power play and pretty much everything at five-on-five.
(More from BSH regarding the Flyers' coaching change here.)
Thanks to Travis for his candid answers, and check out my answers to his questions over at Broad Street Hockey. Don't forget to keep it dialed in right here for a conventional game preview around 3 p.m. today, and the LBC GameThread goes live right here 30 minutes before puck drop.