Frank Doyle previews the Flyers visit to Buffalo and Carolina’s trip to Edmonton!
Game of the day is Philadelphia’s visit to Buffalo. Not just because it’s a great matchup, but because the punishment meted out to Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller is becoming an issue in the League.
Miller got zapped on open ice by Boston’s Milan Lucic back in November 12th, a hit that generated a lot of talk at the time. Jhonas Enroth was between the pipes for the next nine games, and then Miller returned on Saturday at Nashville.
Buffalo was understandably delighted to have the Olympic tournament MVP back in pads, so you’d think the Predators Jordin Tootoo would have had more sense than to run Miller over in the second period. Tootoo got a two game suspension and more than a few punches for his trouble, while Buffalo won the actual hockey game, 3-2.
The Sabres have Miller’s back, but it’s going to be tough to hold out against the Flyers. Philadelphia is the best road team in the NHL and, although Chris Pronger remains on the long term injured reserve, the Flyers are overflowing with veteran talent. Cheap shots might end up being the least of Ryan Miller’s worries tonight.
North of the border, two young teams with troubles face-off for the first and only time this season when Carolina visits Edmonton. Carolina is a long way from home – Edmonton is the second stop in a four game trip across Canada that started in Calgary, ends in Toronto and stops off at Edmonton and Winnipeg along the way.
It’s a trail of tears for Carolina, whose young team are struggling badly. The organisation has already reacted and fired the head coach, with Kirk Muller taking over from Paul Maurice ten days ago.
The Hurricanes had lost three straight when Maurice got the chop. That streak has extended now to seven under Muller, and the Oilers are a sports betting favorite to extend that to eight tonight.
If it’s any consolation to Carolina, the Oilers have been struggling too. After an impressive start to the season Edmonton has lost three of the last four, most recently at home to the Flames. Which is ironic, as it was the Flames that were the last team to torch the ‘Canes, beating them 7-6 last night.
The over might be a bet to think about – the young Oilers have goals in them while the Hurricanes have Eric Staal. Staal has been quiet at the start of the season, but he scored twice last night. Will there be goals tonight in Oil Country?
Meanwhile, here’s footage of that Tootoo hit on Miller: