Philadelphia Flyers (12-12-2) at Minnesota Wild (15-8-5)
|Date & Time||Monday December 2, 2013, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild -152 / Philadelphia Flyers +138 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Flyers look for a rare road victory in Minnesota as they continue their ascent up the standings while the rock solid Wild look to shake off a string of ugly losses.
Philadelphia was one of the game’s most disappointing teams last year as they failed to make the playoffs with one of the better rosters in the game and after starting the year off sluggish once again this season it looked like more of the same for the Flyers’ faithful. However, the Flyers have played much better of late having won back to back games and seven of their last 10 overall putting them in 5th place in the Metro division but just four points back of second place Washington. The Flyers do have a very strong roster led by Claude Giroux up front and while goaltending has been an issue for this team seemingly for decades it looks like former Blue Jackets net minder Steve Mason has finally settled into his niche in Philly. The Flyers will look to hand the Wild just their 4th loss at home all year as Mason goes head to head against Niklas Backstrom.
The Wild have been one of the toughest teams to win against this season as they have such a stingy defensive core and one of the better goalies in the game right now in Josh Harding but the loss of Zach Parise for the next couple weeks could spell hard times. While Parise is just one player he is a very big part of the team’s success especially in the transition game as he is very solid in the backcheck and always provides a spark offensively for a team that doesn’t generally score a lot of goals. Josh Harding has been ridiculous so far this season but it looks like the Wild are going to interject Backstrom back into the rotation in case Harding has health problems and while they are both solid options the team seems to play better in front of Harding. While Minny has been tough to beat at home I think Philly has the edge here as they have more team speed and can handle the physical play and without Parise I think the Flyers have the edge up front as well.