Catching up quickly with the four teams the Flyers will play this week, while also sneaking a glance at the week that just was.
The Flyers are 11-7-5 and their 27 points are good for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. If the playoffs started today, they’d draw Washington in the first round. Through 23 games last year, they were 10-11-2 for 22 points.
Let’s start with a mind bender.
Bill Barber is the Flyers’ all-time leader in goals with 420. But who is the club’s all-time leader in hat tricks?
a) Bobby Clarke b) Tim Kerr c) Eric Lindros
About the Canucks: It has been a tough month for Vancouver, though the Canucks have won two in row to move to 4-5-3 in November. ... Beat Washington on Saturday in a shootout that lasted seven rounds. The Canucks are 3-1 in shootouts this season. The Flyers are 3-5. ... Defenseman Alex Edler left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Update from Monday morning: He plays about 25 minutes per game, and will play on Monday night. ... This is the fourth game of a season-long six-game road trip. ... Vancouver’s 16 road power-play goals are tops in the NHL. They had five in one game at Nashville last week. ... Update from Monday morning: Massive goalie Jacob Markstrom, who beat the Flyers in October, has started the last three games. But backup Thatcher Demko, who has never faced the Flyers, will start.
Where they stand: 12-8-4, 28 points, 3rd place in the Pacific Division.
About the Blue Jackets: The frustration level of Columbus’ coach John Tortorella’s frustration level is rising as Columbus remains stuck in mediocrity. “We’re a .500 team not because of goaltending, because we’ve had some pretty good goaltending. We need the core of this team to make a decision here on how we go about our business and drag people with them and take the responsibility.” Sounds a little like Alain Vigneault. ... Coming off a loss to Winnipeg in which Andrew Copp scored the game-winner off an awful clearing pass by goaltender Elvis Merzļikins. ... Assistant Paul McLean was hired last week to improve the power play. The Blue Jackets have converted 5 of 10 chances in the two games he’s been there, including all three goals in Saturday’s loss to Winnipeg. ... Defenseman Zach Werenski has a six-game point streak (three goals, five assists).
Where they stand: 9-9-4, 22 points, 7th place in the Metropolitan Division.
About the Red Wings: Detroit has lost six in a row, the last four in regulation. The Wings are at the bottom of the NHL standings. ... Leading scorer Anthony Mantha missed Sunday’s loss to Carolina with a lower-body injury. He’s expected to be out for a week, which would include this game. The rebuilding Wings brought up Filip Zadina, the sixth overall pick in 2018, from the AHL to take Mantha’s spot. ... Linemates Andreas Athanasiou (-25) and Valtteri Filppula (-19) have the league’s two worst plus/minus numbers. ... The Flyers are 15-0-1 against Detroit in Philadelphia since they lost both home games during the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals.
Where they stand: 7-16-3, 17 points, last place in the Atlantic Division.
About the Canadiens: They limp into the week on a four-game losing streak. Blew a 4-0 lead to the Rangers on Saturday, falling in regulation. ... All-Star goalie Carey Price is 0-2-1 in his last three starts with 13 goals allowed and an .845 save percentage. ... Jesperi Kotkaniemi does not have a point in the four games since he returned from a groin injury. He did not play in the Nov. 7 meeting which the Flyers won in a shootout. This will be the second of a back-to-back for the Flyers. Montreal plays Thanksgiving night, but not on Friday.
Where they stand: 11-7-5, 27 points, 3rd place in the Atlantic Division.
Tim Kerr (17) is the Flyers’ all-time leader in regular-season hat tricks with 17. Rick MacLeish (12) is second, followed by John LeClair and Eric Lindros (11 each).
The Flyers went 1-1-1 with a loss at Florida, a win in Carolina when Claude Giroux posted four points, and a sour home loss to limping Calgary in a shootout. Morgan Frost became the sixth Flyer to score goals in his first two career games, but he also had a turnover that led to a goal against the Flames.
Our three stars for the week: Travis Konecny, Brian Elliott, Sean Couturier.
Nov. 26, 1996: Eric Lindros, who had missed the first 23 games with a lingering knee injury, finally made his season debut in a loss at Boston. ``If you weren’t on a bike or in a pool or having needles stuck in your leg," Lindros said of his rehab routine, “there wasn’t much to do.”
After dropping the first two games in Lindros’ return, the Flyers went on a 14-0-3 streak. Lindros posted 79 points in 52 games with 136 penalty minutes that year as the Flyers won the Eastern Conference. For context, the Flyers’ penalty-minutes leader this season is Matt Niskanen with 13. That’s a pace of 46.
"The Hayesey line -- with Jake and James – that should be a big, good NHL line. They should be able to contribute five-on-five and play well offensively and defensively. I love Kevin Hayes as a person. James [van Riemsdyk] and Jake [Voracek] I’m starting to learn are great people. But I need more from the hockey player. I know that they want to do well. We’re 20 games in. It’s time.
“I’m not telling you anything I haven’t told them. Obviously, they feel pressure, but that’s why they’re paid the big bucks. You’ve got to deliver. You’ve got to produce and we expect those guys to produce.”
-- Flyers coach Alain Vigneault last Monday
How the players responded in the three games following their coach’s call for more production:
“What a move. ... That’s just amazing.”
-- Keith Jones