The rivals of Pennsylvania; the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins will forever be rivals despite the performance of each team. Last season, the Flyers finished seven points away from tying the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Eastern Conference wild card.
The Flyers’ had 39 wins during the season but their 33 losses and 10 OT losses set them further back than they wanted. As a defensive team, the Flyers weren’t able to score in important moments or execute on important goals.
The Flyers made some roster changes this offseason and rejoiced when they drafted 2017 2nd overall pick, Nolan Patrick. While a good number of Flyers were able to reach good heights in production the Flyers will want to find steady production, unstoppable execution and continued defense to perform better this season.
Pittsburgh topped the Flyers in two of the four games they matched up for this season. In the Pens’ losing games, they let their defense get infiltrated and the Flyers’ strong defensive play prevented them from getting ahead. In the Pens’ wins, they were able to keep their production high by topping the Flyers’ defense and, since Flyers play defense-first, were able to hold down their lead.
The Penguins will still enter this matchup as a stronger offensive team. While the Flyers might bring hard-nosed defense and high-producing players, the Penguins have an offensive system that will break through the Flyers’ defense when it is strong and the lines are working harmoniously.