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Preview: Kings can sweep season series today in Philadelphia

Looking for a repeat of the NYE game, please?

Philadelphia Flyers v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images

How to Watch

Game Time: 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time

TV: Fox Sports West

Radio: iHeart Radio

The Opposition: Broad Street Hockey

What to Watch

  • The name of the game lately is “inconsistency”. The Kings come out strong out of the gate in one game — that 4-0 lead against Vegas — then stumble again before you know it — that 4-0 deficit to the Panthers. While a furious comeback attempt can be fun for onlookers, particularly onlookers who don’t actually care about the outcome of the game, it’s not exactly low stress viewing. And not to take anything away from the Florida Panthers, but that inconsistent play by the Kings dooms them surely as much as any lack of skill on their team. The lack of commitment to playing the right way 100% of the time, the unforced errors that end up in the back of your net — these are the issues that the Kings need to iron out, some way, somehow, before they can be considered even a bubble team, let alone a legitimate contender.
  • Speaking of bubble teams: The Philadelphia Flyers. The positioning for a wild card spot in the East is some true chaotic majesty right now:

The Flyers are jockeying for position with the Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, and Panthers. The Kings have now lost to the Hurricanes and Panthers on this road trip, so they haven’t done the Flyers any favors at all. Unless someone starts to fade (or surge), these teams are going to be fighting and clawing for every point until the close of the regular season. I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping for ridiculous tie-breaking scenarios.

  • The Flyers have won four of their last 10, though their most recent game was a dismal loss against the equally dismal Montreal Canadiens. (Ilya Kovalchuk, by the way, had two goals.) The Flyers know inconsistency well, with one never quite knowing which version of the team will be showing up on any given night. They’ve been ravaged by injuries, too:

Defenseman Justin Braun, out for all of January with a knee injury

Defenseman Shayne Gostibehere, knee surgery, expected back late January/early February

Goaltender Carter Hart, out two-three weeks with abdominal injury

Forward Oskar Lindblom, out for the season as he receives treatment for Ewing’s sarcoms

Defenseman Samuel Morin, out for the season with a torn ACL

Forward Nolan Patrick, out indefiniately with migranes

That’s a lot of young, promising skill missing from the Flyers lineup. They are led in scoring by veteran (and when did that happen?) Sean Couturier with 41 points, but the small human wrecking ball known as Travis Konecny is right behind with 40 points. As someone who has a soft spot for a player who could most easily be described as “weirder Mike Richards”, I like seeing Konecny come into his full potential as a player, but I’d be more than okay with him not doing it today against the Kings.