Breaks in the schedule, the statistics say, have been unfavorable to the Flyers.
Since the season began on Oct. 7, the Flyers have played four games coming off a layoff of four or more days between games. Their record in those four games? An unsightly 1-3-0.
The one win came against the Carolina Hurricanes. And it wasn’t just a win, it was an 8-1 thrashing coming off two full days of team bonding activities at the legendary Pinehurst golf club in Pinehurst, N.C.
Coincidentally, as the Flyers come off another five-day break, they will meet those same Hurricanes at the Wells Fargo Center tonight.
The calendar year of 2011 has been anything but unfavorable for the Flyers, as they have rolled to a 12-3-0 record in the new year.
But to say that this is the same Carolina team – which was floundering in the standings back in November – would be foolish.
Here are a few of the things cooking with the Hurricanes, who hold a one point edge on Atlanta for the 8th and final playoff spot and just did a ridiculously good job hosting the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 30:
- The Hurricanes lost, 3-2, in overtime in New Jersey on Tuesday night.
- Cam Ward has started 13 straight games in net
- The Flyers have scored four or more goals in 24 games this season, good for 3rd best in the NHL. The Hurricanes are right behind them in 4th with 22 games of 4 or more goals.
- Jeff Skinner, at 18, is the youngest player in all four major sports to be named to an All-Star team. He posted his 20th goal of the season against New Jersey, making him the youngest in the NHL to score 20 in a season since Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal in 2007.
- Skinner is the leading candidate for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
- Jordan Staal’s brother, Eric Staal, leads the Hurricanes in goals (26), points (54) and is second on the team in assists (28). Staal is on pace for his best season since 2005-06, when he won a Cup with Peter Laviolette.
How about a few stats between the Flyers and Hurricanes:
- The Flyers have gained at least one point against Carolina (14-0-3) in their last 17 meetings.
- Carolina is just 12-32-8-2 in Philadelphia, including their history from 1979-97 in Hartford.
- The Flyers have outscored Carolina, 11-3, in their two meetings this season – both wins.
- Jeff Carter has 24 points in 22 games against the Hurricanes, including a hat trick and two assists against the Canes this season.
- Brian Boucher is 5-1-0 against Carolina but Sergei Bobrovsky won both starts earlier this season.
The Flyers will be in Carolina next week, for a Feb. 18 matchup that will see former Flyer and former Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour’s No. 17 be raised to the RBC Center rafters.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers
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