Flyers Weekly: Ristolainen, Home Opener, & More

The Philadelphia Flyers had a pretty quiet first week of the season, not playing their first and only game until Friday at home. This didn’t go the way they hoped it would, but they didn’t come out empty-handed either. A tough Philadelphia crowd let the Flyers team hear their disappointment after allowing four goals in the second period and were booed off the ice.

The atmosphere in the building quickly changed in the final minutes after Travis Konecny and Claude Giroux scored in the final 2:17 of regulation and forced overtime, securing a point.

The Flyers went into the season open having won their last five in a row. Things may take time for the Flyers’ new players to get acclimated and develop chemistry with linemates before we can really judge them. With the additions of Cam Atkinson, Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, Keith Yandle, and Derick Brassard, that’s a player on each defence pairing and the top two forward lines that have to play with new players. This can really affect the defencemen, as there are only two of them, and they need to know where the other one is to successfully make plays in their own end and break out more easily.

The Flyers will slowly start to get healthy too, which should see a strong second half of the season.

Flyers’ Week Ahead

The Flyers’ schedule looks to pick up this week with three tough matchups, but at least they are playing games. They continue to host games at the Wells Fargo Center this week until they finally head out west for a western Canadian road trip next week.

The week started with the Seattle Kraken visiting the Flyers yesterday evening. This is a team that is slightly improving each game they play in the inaugural season. They kicked off their first week with two comebacks, one resulting in heartbreak against the Vegas Golden Knights and the other in their first win vs. the Nashville Predators. Game three was even tighter as the Kraken and goalie Philipp Grubauer looked to have finally figured it out in the crease. This is a team that is only going to get tougher the more time they spend together and learn each other on and off the ice. The Flyers catch a break and get their first look at this team early in the season.

Rasmus Ristolainen Philadelphia Flyers
Rasmus Ristolainen, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Next up on Wednesday is a healthy Boston Bruins team that still looks scary despite losing their longtime No. 2 centreman David Krejci. The Bruins are one of the remaining undefeated teams and may still be that way when these teams match up. For a Flyers team that may be around the wildcard spot come playoff time, every point against teams in the same conference means a lot. Whether it’s the beginning or end of the season, points matter the same. The Flyers should look to take advantage of the depth advantage they have at forward and defence and provide solid play in front of Carter Hart, who looked shaky in his first start of the season.

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The third and final game of the week comes on Saturday with the undefeated Florida Panthers. Even more than last season, this is a team that looks very much improved and could be a juggernaut this season. The Flyers will be in for a tough battle and will need to play a physical game and stay out of the box if they want to succeed in this matchup.

Rasmus Ristolainen Almost Back

On Saturday following the Flyers’ first game, Nick Seeler was designated for assignment to Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League (AHL). The assumption was that Rasmus Ristolainen would be returning to the lineup very soon, maybe even for their game against the Kraken.

“He’s still day-to-day, he’s getting better. Day-to-day has turned out to be almost a week now.”

– Alain Vigneult

This doesn’t seem to be the case, as Seeler was recalled to slot into the lineup once again in place of the still injured Ristolainen (“Flyers’ Nick Seeler: Called up from minors, CBS, Oct. 18, 2021). He was out there for the morning skate, but head coach Alain Vigneault said that he wasn’t ready. As for his status for Wednesday’s game against the Bruins, Vigneault said that he’d have a better idea for us after practice Tuesday. Ristolainen will skate with the team tomorrow again in hopes of getting himself ready enough to make his Flyers debut, and a much-needed debut at that.

The Flyers have their work cut out for them, but it will be an exciting week of hockey as the team gets to their first taste of the NHL’s newest franchise, as well as possible playoff opponents after that.

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