For the first time since Nov. 4, the Flyers are not one of the Eastern Conference's top two seeds.
They have fallen to fourth, but help could be coming: The Flyers face two struggling opponents this weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, the Flyers host New Jersey, and they travel to Long Island Sunday for a matinee against the Islanders.
Those two opponents are a combined 13-28-7.
The Flyers will be trying to improve a power play that is in a 2-for-38 funk.
During Friday’s practice, the Flyers flip-flopped Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux on different power-play units. Carter was with Mike Richards and Ville Leino, with Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen at the points. Giroux was on a unit with Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell, with Matt Carle and Andrej Meszaros at the points.
“Just trying to get a different look,” said coach Peter Laviolette, referring to the subtle change.
Briere, Giroux and Hartnell were also on a power-play unit during last seaon’s playoffs. “So it’s not a big deal,” Briere said. “We’re just trying to find ways to get it clicking.”
Pronger moved down low, in front of the goalie, while the Flyers were working in five-on-three and four-on-three situations. And, yes, he was keeping his hands to his sides.
* * * * *
Winger Dan Carcillo, who was able to take contact for the second straight practice, said he was physically able to play this weekend. Carcillo has been sidelined with a knee injury….New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk, who was demoted to the fourth line late in Thursday’s 5-1 loss to Montreal, has no goals in his last eight games and one goal in his last 16. New Jersey coach John MacLean said he could have benched half his team after Thursday's defeat....There are 250 tickets left for Saturday's game.
* * * * *
Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of Laviolette's hiring by the Flyers; the next day, the Flyers dropped an 8-2 decision in Washington in his debut with his new team.
* * * * *
For constant Flyers updates, follow me on Twitter at at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull.