The scheduling gods have once again blessed us by inserting a Flyers game in between the majestic events of the Phillies postseason. Your girlfriends and wives may or may not agree, but if you're a Flyers fan, odds are you'll be hard pressed to take a night off from sports.
Because just three games into the 2008-2009 season, we get to see the Orange & Black take on the hated Penguins. A rivalry has clearly developed between the cross-state rivals, and it gets nice and ugly. Ditto with the fans. It may be tough to re-focus your vitriol away from the incensing Dodgers base; we've come to learn that they're as despicable as any we've ever seen. But there's likely still plenty of hate left over for the Yinzer brigade.
Unfortunately, the Flyers have struggled out of the gate, playing some familiar good period/bad period hockey. They ran into a hot Rangers team that entered North American play with a head start (and they're now 5-0), then caught the talented Canadiens on Saturday. The result is an 0-2 start after two home games, and some uncertainty in net.
Marty Biron has looked shaky so far, and Antero Niittymaki will get the start tonight. In relief of Marty in the season opener, Niitty was amazing. It hasn't been all Marty's fault, with goals coming off turnovers in front of him, but he can definitely play better than he has.
The goals have been coming, so that's a good sign, especially seeing the production of the top line. New D-man Andrew Alberts will join the fold tonight, wearing sweater number 41. Very solid addition by Homer, with the lumbering blue liner ready to make an immediate impact. He's not quick or much of an offensive threat, but he's big (6'5, 220) and mobile enough.
The Pens are 1-1-1, having split a home and home with the Senators, then dropping a contest with the Devils. Both these teams are better than they've played so far, and they'll be looking to show it tonight.
Niitty pic by Flickr user Neat1325.