Ben Kuzma’s Canucks Game Night.
BEN KUZMA CANUCKS GAME NIGHT
FLYERS OF PHILADELPHIA
2-1-1, 8th in Metropolitan Division
at VANCOUVER CANUCKS
3-3-1, 4th in Pacific Division
Today, 7 pm, Rogers Arena
TV: Sportsnet. Radio: Sportsnet 650
The hockey of yesteryear in a new era of sophisticated statistics that analyze every element of any game is always a welcome relief. Former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault emphasizes driving the pace and having his Flyers in your face. They are not the legendary Broad Street Bullies, but they are not wallflowers. The Flyers were second in 16 minutes of average penalty per game heading into Wednesday’s test in Edmonton. In an Oct. 15 home game with the Canucks, the Flyers had 38 hits and 35 shots in a savage 5-4 loss in shootouts.
1. Joel Farabee GP 4 G 3 A 3 PTS 6 (+8)
2. Cam Atkinson GP 4 G 4 A 1 PTS 5 (+8)
3. Derrick Brassard GP 4 G 1 A 4 PTS 5 (+6)
1. Conor Garland GP 7 G 3 A 5 PTS 8 (+4)
2. JT Miller GP 7 G 1 A 7 PTS 8 (-2)
3. Bo Horvat GP 7 G 4 A 1 PTS 5 (E)
FRILLS: PP 36.4% (3rd) PK 81.3% (17th)
CANUCKS: PP 23.1% (16th) PK 77.8% (24th)
THREE THINGS ABOUT THE OPPOSITION
• Three for the show. The Flyers made three key offseason acquisitions on Columbus’ Cam Atkinson in a trade for Jakob Voracek, Arizona free agent Derrick Brassard and Ryan Ellis in a trade with Nashville. The initial result is more speed, skill and finish, and poise at the rear. The Flyers scored 18 goals in their first four games.
• Ellis is the answer. Ivan Provorov had four defensive partners in 2020-21. The top-notch blueliner was down in production with 26 points (7-19) in 56 games last season and the arrival of veteran Ellis, who is battling a minor injury, was timely. The Flyers now have a superior tandem with uniform strength, power play and in a closing role.
• Shock at night. The flyers irritated Travis Konecny, who is a relative of Canucks captain Bo Horvat, and called Conor Garland “an angry little elf” for the tiny winger’s fight at that Oct. 15 meeting. Konecny had four shots and four hits. Former Canucks winger Zack MacEwen is in a rotating fourth-line role in Philadelphia.