Flyers head into Boston looking different but not lacking confidence originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Flyers on Thursday have a roll-with-the-punches mindset as they begin a two-game set against the Bruins in Boston.
Let's get into the essentials for the game:
When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: TD Garden
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• The Flyers (3-1-0) will look different on the back end and up front.
With injuries to Philippe Myers and Morgan Frost (more on their statuses here), the Flyers will be down two more players on their first road trip of the 2020-21 season.
The Flyers believed one of their bigger strengths entering this season was organizational depth.
"Injuries are part of it, next man up," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said energetically Thursday morning. "We're ready to go."
Mark Friedman will fill in for Myers, who is not an easy player to replace for the club. The soon-to-be 24-year-old defenseman is 6-foot-5 and a fluid skater who is taking on more responsibility after a solid rookie season in 2019-20. Myers' plus-17 was the best plus-minus mark by a Flyers rookie defenseman since 1983-84, when Thomas Eriksson was a plus-29. After recording four goals and 12 assists in 50 games during the regular season, Myers played in all 16 of the Flyers' playoff games, scored three goals and finished fourth on the team in shots with 30.
Vigneault's system encourages puck-moving defensemen to orchestrate the attack, provide a second wave of offense and pin the opposition in the defensive zone. Last season, only the Blues (45) had more goals from defensemen than the Flyers, who were tied for second with 44. Myers possesses the strengths to play the Flyers' preferred style, reasons why the club has been "bullish" on his upside.
When Frost was injured, he was playing only his second game of the season filling in for the injured Sean Couturier. Connor Bunnaman will jump into the lineup and play fourth-line center.
Friedman and Bunnaman gained valuable experience last season and the organization has been pleased with their steady growth into depth options. Last January, Bunnaman scored his first NHL goal in a game against the Bruins and Friedman notched his first NHL point with an assist on the play.
Friedman is smaller but moves well and competes. Vigneault said that the Flyers challenged the 25-year-old after he had a so-so training camp.
"Coming into the season, we had high expectations for Mark," Vigneault said. "We liked what we saw last year, we liked the bite that he brought, he was extremely hard as far as competing and battling. This year, I would say his camp was just OK and we made that very clear to him. He's picked it up since then, even though he hasn't had a chance to play, he's been waiting for this opportunity, so I expect him to play real hard, to compete and to play to his strengths."
• Carter Hart is in net for the Flyers.
The 22-year-old has four career wins over the Bruins, tied for his most against any NHL club. Hart is 4-1-0 with a 2.71 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in five lifetime matchups vs. Boston. He beat the Bruins with 34 saves on 35 shots in the round robin of the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.
• The Bruins are off to a 1-1-1 start this season and are without David Pastrnak (hip), who put up 95 points (48 goals, 47 assists) last season.
Joel Farabee-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
Claude Giroux-Scott Laughton-James van Riemsdyk
Oskar Lindblom-Nolan Patrick-Travis Konecny
Michael Raffl-Connor Bunnaman-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov-Travis Sanheim
Erik Gustafsson-Justin Braun
Robert Hagg-Mark Friedman
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