Bruins Game Preview: Looking at the Flyers

( Photo by Len Redkoles / NHLI via Getty Images )

By: Carter Hochman | Follow me on Twitter @Carterr33

It’s been another long break in play for the 8-5-0 Bruins, a full six days in between games after winning back-to-back games vs. the Devils and Canadiens. The schedule thus far has left plenty of Bruins fans scratching their heads, but if they’re anything like me, they’re still glad there’s Boston Bruins hockey to be played. Let’s break down this upcoming matchup against the Flyers.

Now, the last time these two met, it was Jeremy Swayman who was exposed for the very first time in his career and taking the loss in what was a 6-3 final score back on October 20th. Granted, it was only the second game of the season, and we had plenty of new faces still figuring things out, but it was not a pretty loss nonetheless and certainly left Bruins fans with raised eyebrows. Since that game, the Bruins have gone 7-4, outscoring their opponents 35-30, and it’s been… inconsistent.

We’ve seen lineup changes, different mixups of line pairings, a nearly 50/50 split between the goaltenders, and a lot of people asking what this Bruins team is truly made of. Heading into this game, we’ve seen guys like Craig Smith, Nick Foligno, and Anton Blidh deal with injuries that have caused these lineup shifts. We’ve seen guys like Karson Kuhlman, Jack Studnicka, Jakub Zboril get calls up to try and solve things for Boston. It just seems like there’s still a missing piece there even after all the offseason moves the Bruins made, and that’s not where you want to be heading into your 14th game of the season.

The Flyers aren’t exactly in a much more promising situation sitting on an 8-4-3 record and 4th in a strong Metropolitan Division, but seeing how they played against the Bruins the first time around mixed with how the Bruins seem to be searching for consistency, tomorrow might not be a beautiful display of hockey on either side.

That being said, Bruce Cassidy has named Linus Ullmark the starter in net against Philly, which isn’t necessarily surprising seeing what they did to Swayman in their first face-off. So far, Ullmark is posting a .903 SV%, a 3.01 GAA, and has yet to keep a clean sheet, but I can’t say he’s looked bad despite what the numbers might suggest.

The good news out of all of this is the top line is looking like they’re finding their stride. The bad news is it’s starting to look like a one-line team again. This next stretch of games, starting in Philadelphia tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, should be very telling on how the long haul will turn out for Boston.

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