BOB'S YOUR UNDERSTUDY?
- Sergei Bobrovsky was impressive again. He had 32 more saves in this game to improve to 3-0-1 in the preseason with a 1.39 goals against average and a .952 save percentage.
Those numbers are a bit staggering, but considering the opposition Wednesday night, shouldn't be overvalued.
The Islanders only sent a group with six players with legit NHL experience for the game, ending the rest of their team to Sakatoon, Saskatchewan for a game against the Flames.
Therefore, it's not like Bob was getting boffo talent coming his way, still, he played well, especially in the third period when the Flyers went to sleep in front of him, and preserved a meaningless victory.
At this point, with just two preseason games left, it's starting to look like Bobrovsky might win the backup job on the big club since Johan Backlund still hasn't seen any action.
We'll see what the weekend has in store.
- Jeff Carter, Nik Zherdev and James van Riemsdyk continue to have strong camps. The played on three separate lines tonight, but all looked good again. Carter scored twice and JVR scored once. This will likely be the FLyers top offensive unit coming into the season.
- With Ian Laperiere on the shelf for a while, a roster spot is suddenly open. This is the most interesting battle in camp. It'll likely come down to Ben Holmstrom and Andreas Nodl for that spot with Nodl having a slight edge.
- Bill Guerin didn't play tonight, but it sounds like there is some uncertainty about his making the team. I still thin he's there and somebody else gets moved out - like Dan Carcillo or Darroll Powe - but there is a bit of grumbling that Guerin may not have impressed enough to earn a contract.
- As if the Flyers aren't deep enough on defense, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson both played well in this one. I wouldn't be surprised if one or both of them surpass Matt Walker and Oskars Bartulis on the depth chart, meaning the Flyers will have another tough roster decision to make on the blue line.
- Both Ville Leino and Blair Betts were back in the lineup for the first time this preseason. Leino looked better than Betts, but both played well. Leino had two assists and was dominant the first period and a half before tiring out (not quite game ready after such a long layoff). He finished with two assists (and is the topic of my story tomorrow in the Daily Times). Betts was strong on the penalty kill - as always - but needs to work on faceoffs with his surgically repaired shoulder as he was unusually sub-par at the dots.
- This might mean very little or a lot, but the last player I want to mention is Braydon Coburn, who continues to play a nasty, physical style of game. He's hitting anything that moves, and tonight even mixed it up in a scrap with Jesse Joensuu. Coburn landed several good blows and bloodied Joensuu. If he keeps playing this way, he could be a force on the blue line for an extended period.
I will not be at the next two games, so the next time we chat will be opening night in Pittsburgh.
Until then, look for my Flyers and NHL previews (coming next week) and for some Flyers coverage this weekend from columnist Jack McCaffrey who is filling in.