The Ducks are an upstart team with a ton of potential. That’s easy to see. They showed plenty of it from the youngsters still in the lineup, ending the Flyers road trip on a sour note as tougher matchups are ahead.
The four-game road trip out of the holiday break ends with one more game on the West coast on Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, albeit with many players out due to COVID protocol on both sides, including both team captains, a budding young star for Anaheim, and the Flyers other top-pairing defenseman.
Free agency opened on Friday and many players are electing patience in making their decisions, hearing out offers. There was no tampering period as there usually is in free agency, so every team was able to make their pitch against one another at the same time. On Day 1, the Flyers elected patience as well and continue to wait for the right opportunity.
As free agency begins on Friday at noon, the Flyers have $8.6 million in cap space available, but have to sign Phil Myers and Nolan Patrick as well. That doesn’t leave the Flyers with much room for signing free agents, but they may explore low-risk forward options or look for a defenseman. Here are a few names to watch.
The Tampa Bay Lightning built the foundation of their championship team through the draft and had to experience a lot of failure before reaching the top. The Flyers may be in the early stages of following the same blueprint.
Both teams received power plays in overtime, but it was a call made at the end of regulation and another on Stars captain Jamie Benn in overtime that caused the most talk, leading to the game-winning goal from Kevin Shattenkirk that gave the Lightning a 5-4 win and a 3-1 series lead on Friday night.
Three goals in the first period, including two on the power play, paced the Lightning to a 3-0 lead. The Stars again tried to find a rally, but fell just short, as the Lightning took Game 2, 3-2, to even the Stanley Cup Final at one game apiece on Monday night.
A preview of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars, including each team’s candidates for Conn Smythe, how they got to the Final and what they need to do to win the Cup.
Assuming the Flyers hold onto both picks, the team has a great chance to build their prospect pool even more. It is reportedly a deep draft, and recent history suggests that good prospects and potential future NHL stars can be had in the middle of the first round.