LONDON, Ontario -- For some of the Flyers’ veterans, it will be a long weekend.
Because of concern for injury with so many preseason games - the Flyers will play 8 exhibition games, at least two more than any other team in the Atlantic division - Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has decided to send just a handful of veterans to London tonight for a preseason clash with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The team has yet to arrive in London (as of 3:00 pm EST) for tonight’s 7 o’clock start at the John Labatt Centre. The game will be broadcast on NHL Network (Comcast channel 858 in HD or 739 in SD).
After the game, the team will load up onto the charter again and head back to Philadelphia before a new batch of players fly directly to Toronto tomorrow afternoon (just 100 miles from London) for a rematch with the Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
It’s likely the Flyers will dress just a few more players than the NHL required minimum of 8 veterans for a preseason game.
Here’s what we do know, with some of the info coming from Tim McManus of the Glens Falls Post-Star:
Brian Boucher will start in goal and play two periods before likely being replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky. This is Boucher’s season debut. Bobrovsky stopped 6 shots in regulation and overtime against New Jersey on Tuesday and stoned three of four Devils in the shootout.
On defense, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Joonas Lehtivuori and Logan Stephenson are slated to make their preseason debuts with three Flyers veterans yet to be named. Bourdon is the most interesting character in the group. In the Flyers’ rookie scrimmage with the Capitals last week in Washington, Bourdon seemed to be head-and-shoulders above other rookies. His poise and patience with the puck were unmistakable.
As for the forwards, Mike Testwuide, Ben Holmstrom, Andrew Rowe, Jon Kalinski and Greg Moore are scheduled to be in the lineup. Holmstrom was impressive on Tuesday. Kalinski has some decent NHL experience and this isn’t Moore’s first trip around the block, having played 10 career NHL games. It will be interesting to see Testwuide, the player with the most fan-fare so far, performs.
I’d expect hometown boy Jeff Carter to be in the lineup. Tryout Bill Guerin said he is making the trip North and Danny Briere said he will not be skating tonight.
For a look at the Maple Leafs lineup tonight - who are 1-1-0 through two preseason matchups with the Senators - head over to James Mirtle's Leafs blog at the Globe and Mail.
As always, we will keep you posted right here and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DNFlyers.