There’s no denying the Penguins are going to come out hot. It has been less than a month since the Stadium Series game where the Flyers won in OT and also took down two of the Penguins top defensemen.
Wayne Simmonds had a big hit on Brian Dumoulin in the first period that led to a big scrum. Shayne Gostisbehere jumped Kris Letang during it. After that, both Penguins defensemen did not return to the game.
The Penguins are going to be seeking revenge for the late loss and the early hits. But the Flyers are now without the man the Penguins would’ve been holding accountable and the man who the Flyers relied on to be an intimidating force and strong fighter.
So who’s going to step up for the team?
There’s no issue of people not standing up for each other. Radko Gudas is in the top 10 of the league for hits, having 226 hits in 67 games and has no problem standing up for his teammates. Another defenseman, Robert Hagg, is 11th in the league in hits and not afraid to step into a scrap after a play.
Jake Voracek, one of Simmonds’ best friends and someone who fought twice against the Islanders, could feel the responsibility to step up for his former teammate and his current teammates.
Ryan Hartman, the player who the Flyers traded for Simmonds has proven he is a physics force with big hits and a fight in his first game as a Flyer.
Then there’s fireball Travis Konecny who can’t resist a fight, who chirps people’s ears off and isn’t afraid to get in the middle of tough situations.
The point is, the Flyers have no lack of physical players willing to step up to the plate. The question is, who?
Julia Kender @JK_Kender
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