Feb 7, 2012, 6:06 PM EST
Before their last visit to the Wells Fargo Center, the New York Islanders hadn’t won in Philadelphia since 2007. It’s one thing if a streak lasts that long against a team from the other conference, but a division foe? It was fairly impressive, and certainly enjoyable.
Of course, no streak can last forever, and the Isles finally snapped it with a 4-1 win here on January 19. Also laid to waste was Sergei Bobrovsky’s career unbeaten mark against the Islanders, which previously stood at 7-0. One of the Flyers’ problems that night won’t be solved merely by changing the goalie, though Peter Laviolette has elected to go with Ilya Bryzgalov.
After the previous loss, Lavvy lamented the number of times Bob was hung out to dry. In short, that’s still a problem. In his most recent action, Bryz was unable to play the role of the savior his team needed, as they were overmatched and mistake-prone, and he had no answers of his own.
The question everyone’s wondering is, are these issues fixable with the current personnel, or are we totally boned will help need to be brought in at the trade deadline?
The goaltending issues almost certainly won’t be addressed via trade, but the blue line could see a new face or two. In the meantime, maybe the Flyers getting healthier will have enough effect. Danny Briere isn’t known for his defense, but his return tonight gives the Islanders another dangerous scorer to worry about, which could slow their attacking tendencies some. Here’s hoping, anyway.
The Isles come to town having lost their most recent game but won the previous two. They’re trading wins for losses lately, but that’s actually a good thing for a last place team. Evgeni Nabokov has been hot in net, as the Flyers saw the last time these teams met. Two of the Isles’ last three losses have had Al Montoya in net, including Saturday’s defeat by the Sabres. The Flyers may have to deal with Nabokov, who hasn’t let up more than three goals since January 7.
Does #48 get back on the board? Can Simmonds keep his career-best pace alive? Can Bryz snap back to the form we saw against the Preds?
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