The Philadelphia Flyers (2-1-1) return to action tonight for the first time in six days. The Flyers will welcome the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars (4-1-0) to the Wells Fargo Center. Game time is 7:30.
It's time for another edition of Between The Pipes. In this edition, we have thoughts on the coaches challenge from a former referee, an update on the Phantoms spate of injuries after a weekend split, and an update on Flyers Prospects.
Sam Gagner joined the Flyers in a move that's widely considered to be one of GM Ron Hextall's best, yet still managed to stay somewhat under the radar at the start of the season.
After all, the transaction was more about what Hextall gave up, rather than what he got back in return. In a move that could be considered as one part hockey sense and another part Harry Potterian wizardry, Hextall not only gave up much-maligned defenseman Nicklas Grossmann, but managed to remove Chris Pronger's contract from the Flyers' books. Sure, it helped that the Arizona Coyotes needed to get to the salary floor, but nonetheless, Hextall's move was quite savvy.
Factor in the hoopla that comes with hiring a new coach, and it's understandable that a player like Gagner could fall under the radar.
Under most circumstances, a five-day break between games in not ideal. This especially holds true when a team is coming off a convincing 3-0 shutout of the defending Stanley Cup champions, and next faces a team that's considered one of the preeminent offensive juggernauts of the Western Conference.
It also holds true when the same team's backup goaltender posts shutouts in consecutive games, and in doing so, generates a conversation about a potential goaltending controversy (no matter how early it may actually be for such a conversation).