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The Flyers may need a little time to recover their late-season magic. The Bruins will take this first game 4-3 in regulation.
The Flyers are 5-1 through their last six against teams with a winning record. Philly has also gone 37-17-1 hitting the OVER through their last 55 as an underdog. The Over-Under is currently set at 5.5 goals.
The Bruins are 7-1 through their last eight games against Eastern opponents. They’ve also gone 21-5-2 hitting the UNDER through their last 28 against their own conference.
Philadelphia vs Boston Information
|What||Philadelphia Flyers vs Boston Bruins|
|Where||Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON|
|When||August 2, 2020 3:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||NBC Sports|
24 teams will face off with one another in a best-of-five play-in style series to determine the quarter-final seeding. Meanwhile, the top four teams from each conference (based on win percentage) will play a round robin-style trio of games to determine their ranks heading into the round of 16.
With 41 wins, the Flyers are the fourth and final team rounding out the Eastern Conference top finishers. They also enter this game on a high after bouncing the Penguins in their first tune-up tilt on Tuesday, July 28th. The Bruins, meanwhile, have been selected by many as the Stanley Cup favorite given their regular-season dominance. They finished atop the East and also led the league with 44 wins.
Not shockingly the Bruins come out of the gates as the early favorites. What is a little surprising though is the lack of respect given for the team with the best record and goal differential across the board. The Bruins also had the best power-play percentage in the East by a landslide.
Predicting the unpredictable though is the name of the game in this new return to play format. Similar to NCAA March Madness it’s anyone’s game with each team wrapping their regular season all the way back in March.
Obviously a lot can change in five months, but the heat is still simmering on the Philadelphia Flyers grill. This team was the hottest in the East over the final ten games of the year, ripping off a 9-1 finish to a stunted season. Had the year not wrapped early, who knows what these Bullies might have done.
We know that with a blooming Carter Hart between the pipes and a very strong and prolific young core up front, the Flyers will be a very real threat out of the East in the very near future. Does that extremely bright future begin in the first week back though? The odds suggest no, but with three games in just six days, perhaps an abundance of youth could pay dividends early.
Another huge advantage for the team comes in the form of young forward Oskar Lindblom who was diagnosed early in the season with Ewing’s Sarcoma. He was slated to miss the remainder of the 2020 NHL calendar. However, after completing his cancer treatment earlier this month, he is now on the Flyers final roster and will be a very welcome addition back into an already tight Philly room.
Generally in the NHL, more so than other leagues, history rewrites itself in a lot of cases. The best teams generally stay among the best for quite some time before dying off. We’re also talking about over a few years here and not just a few months. In other words, don’t think for a second that a little time off is going to slow down this Boston bunch.
This is also the same team that bageled the Flyers in their final game of the regular season 2-0 and also ended the year on a pretty hot streak of their own going 7-3-0 over their final 10-pack. The Bruins posted three shutouts in their final 17 matchups and also ended the year with a number of player milestones.
You can definitely expect the hot play to continue from NHL goals leader David Pastrnak (48) and the league goals against average leader Tuuka Rask (2.12). Pastrnak also finished third in points with 95, while teammate Brad Marchand ended his year fifth in assists with 59 helpers.
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Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.More info on Ryan Sullivan
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