Flyers Hope Flu Bug Stays Low

Maple Leafs Sabres HockeyThe Flyers will venture into the territory that will be quite familiar for them the next few weeks, Buffalo.

Philadelphia will play the Sabres tonight in their first of four regular season meetings. They’ll also tangle up on the 12th and then again on the 27th of this month. The finished with a season sweep of the Sabres last season winning all four meetings.

Lately, the seasonal flu bug has circulated around the lockerroom and has caused issued with close to half the roster. Five players missed practice Wednesday. Wingers Dan Carcillo and Arron Asham returned to the ice yesterday, while defenseman Matt Carle did not practice but is expected to play tonight.

“The guys looked better today,” said coach John Stevens, who’s team had a full hour practice yesterday at their facility in Voorhees, NJ. “We have to do much like we did the last few games, use all of our bench and utilize everybody,” Stevens said. 

The problem aspect of this whole flu thing is the fact that the Sabres are no push-over. Buffalo is 9-2-1 and are one of the NHL’s most surprising teams thus far. The Sabres have surrendered a league-low 24 goals in 12 games.

Most of their success can be credited to superstar goaltender Ryan Miller (9-1-1). Miller, has posted two shutouts, along with a staggering 1.69 goals-against-average. He leads all netminders with a .941 save percentage.

“He’s proven he’s one of the upper-echelon goalies in the league,” coach Stevens of Miller.

The Sabres don’t have much of a scoring threat whatsoever. They have one player that is currently in double-digits in points, that being Tim Connolly with 11.

Coach Stevens believes that Buffalo’s success with their defensive play, the Sabres don’t have worry about having multiple guys that can net 25-30 goals.

“I think the big change in Buffalo this year is their ability to keep the puck out of their net,” Stevens said. “They’ve always been a good offensive team, but this team is maybe more committed to playing defense now than they were in the past.”

Stevens also said that Ray Emery (7-3-1) will get the start between the pipes tonight. Brian Boucher could be in line for his second start of the season when the Flyers play the St. Louis Blues tomorrow at home.

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