Marquee Matchups Flyers at Wells Fargo Center
With a return to a full 82-game schedule, the Flyers will have the chance to face teams from outside their division once again as the NHL looks to get back to normal. In fact, they will open their season against a team they haven’t played for almost two years.
It will be the Flyers’ first clash against the Vancouver Canucks since November 25, 2019, when they won 2-1 at the Wells Fargo Center. This will be the first game of the regular season at full capacity and since it will also be played on a Friday, it should be a crowded building.
The Flyers haven’t lost to the Canucks at home since 2017 and are 42-21. The Canucks were 23-29-4 a season ago as they finished last in the North Division. Some of the notable deals for the Canucks this offseason have been the addition of Oliver Ekman-Larsson
and the exit of Braden Holtby. Other than that, the team has basically stayed the same.
It should be a really fun game to watch, especially as a Flyers fan. The team will also be handing out schedule t-shirts. If you choose to attend only one game this season, choose this one. It won’t be like any other game you’ve been too.
October 18: Flyers vs Kraken
The highly anticipated new NHL franchise arrives in Philadelphia for the Flyers’ second game of the season. Unlike Vegas’ arrival in the league, the Kraken was a surprise with the choices and moves they made. Ron Francis understands the current era of the flat cap and has built a team where he has a lot of leeway for the future.
This Kraken team is filled with actors and young talent. With former Flyers coach Dave Hakstol in the lead, it tells me that the Kraken are not trying to be 100% competitive but are preparing for the future.
Just because a team isn’t made up of superstars doesn’t mean you should sleep on them and take them lightly. It will be a game the Flyers face early in the season to help them build confidence and get things done early on.
November 2: Coyotes vs Flyers
With the current state of the Coyotes, it wouldn’t be a typical marquee game, but it does come with Shayne Gostisbehere returning for the first time as a member of the Coyotes. While the game may not be a rivalry game or a team’s first game against the Flyers, it will still be an emotional game both for some of the players and for Gostisbehere himself.
Shayne was a Flyer for seven years and was one of the hearts and souls of this team. He wore his emotions and his heart on his sleeve. Gostisbehere has played 381 games and scored 60 goals and recorded 159 points during his career. He would also go on to become one of the top scorers in franchise history as Man D.
The Coyotes start this season after finishing fifth in the West Division. The Yotes went 24-26-6 with 54 points. They missed the playoffs by nine points. Emotions will run high and fans will be expected to give a standing ovation at Gostisbehere.
November 18: Stanley Cup Champion Rant Lightning vs Flyers
The last time these two teams met was in bubble classification games in 2020. The Flyers absolutely dominated in that last meeting, but Tampa had the final say in winning the Stanley Cup this year. there while Philadelphia was sacked by the Islanders. Tampa won the Cup again last season as the Flyers were sent home early with no playoffs.
Although this is the first of three meetings, it will be a big test. Kevin Hayes is also expected to return to this time of his abdominal surgery. With a healthy team at full throttle, I think this will be one of the best games to watch this season.
November 26 (Black Friday): Hurricanes vs Flyers
The Flyers have yet another home game for Black Friday. The last game of Black Friday was against the Detroit Red Wings where Philadelphia outscored them 6-1. This is one of my favorite games to watch this year because of the fan excitement and energy they bring.
The Flyers last faced the Hurricanes on March 5, 2020, where they won 4-1. They also performed well against the Hurricanes that season. The Hurricanes start this season after finishing first in the Central Division with a 36-12-8 record and a total of 80 points. They got bounced in the second round of the playoffs by Tampa Bay.
November 30: Islanders vs Flyers
The Flyers and Islanders have been such a great game to watch in the Metro Division over the past two years. Whether it’s playoffs or a regular season game, these two teams don’t disappoint. The Islanders were the only team the Flyers really came up against last season as well, so they may still have feelings of the lingering bubble.
The Islanders start this season after finishing fourth in the Eastern Division. They finished 32-17-7 with 71 points. The Islanders were beaten in the third round by Tampa for the second straight year. The Flyers lost their last game to the Islanders 1-0 in overtime on April 18. It was a really good game where they seemed to put it together and just lost a rebounding puck from Sanheim.
With both teams making some additions and having good coaches with young talent. These two teams will be the game to watch inside the subway besides the Capitals against the Rangers.
January 6: Penguins vs Flyers
I really don’t need to explain why this is a game to be played. The Flyers and Penguins have been a staple game for years. The rivalry extends not only to the team, but also to the fans. It will be the second of four clashes this season against the Pens.
The Penguins finished first, with a 37-16-3 record and a gain of 77 points. They ended up getting angry with the Islanders in the first round of the playoffs. The last meeting between these two teams dates back to May 4 when the Penguins beat the Flyers 7-3. I think it will be different since the fans will be in the building and ready to win the Key State battle.
January 20: Blue Jackets vs Flyers
Columbus isn’t much of a threat to anyone right now, but that’s not why you should be at this game. Former assistant captain, playmaker and big guy Jake Voracek will be coming home for the first time. It will be a moving evening, especially for Claude Giroux. This is the first time that G has no one from “his core”.
Voracek returned home to where it all began after being traded for Cam Atkinson. He played for Columbus for three seasons before transferring to the Flyers in the 2011-2012 season. This would have been Jake’s 10th year with the organization. He played 968 games, scored 216 and recorded 522 assists for a total of 738 points.
The Columbus Blue Jackets start this season after coming last in the Central Division, with an 18-26-12 record and a total of 48 points. This team is led by a new head coach and has lost almost all of its core. It’s probably the start of a rebuild in Columbus, which is a shame for Jake considering he’s been a part of it for most of his career.
February 1 (Last game before the Olympic break): Jets vs Flyers
This isn’t primarily because of the showdown itself, but because of its location. It will be mid-season. The Flyers need to climb high at this point and keep their momentum going before the break. This will also tell you what needs that team may need to try to acquire by the trade deadline.
April 29: Senators vs Flyers
It’s not because of the clash, but the end of the year. The Flyers are hopeful that at this point they will make the playoffs. It’s been a dark time most years and if you follow the measurements it’s every two years and we’re in a year where the Flyers should make the playoffs. Either way, you won’t want to miss the last game of the season.