Tomorrow night the Caps take on the rival Philadelphia Flyers at the always hostile Wachovia Center. And as if they needed any more, the Flyers got a fresh new infusion of nasty with the addition of snarly Chris Pronger and scrappy Ian LaPerriere in the off season. The thugnasty Flyers have also been the beneficiaries of several outstanding performances from goaltender Ray Emery, who is taking advantage of his second chance at an NHL career after his stop in Russia's KHL last season. In his first game as a Flyer, Emery stopped 28 shots against the Carolina Hurricanes and on Saturday, he helped the team to a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Expect to see d-men Pronger and Kimmo Timmonen swarming like hornets whenever the Great 8 is on the ice, as they aim to put an end to his recent scoring streak. Speaking of Ovie, to no one's surprise he was named the NHL's First Star for his outstanding performances against Boston and Toronto last week. Mike Knuble will surely be looking for another outstanding performance of his own as he faces his former team for the first time this season.
As we know too well, the Flyers also have their own arsenal of offensive weapons. Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell and captain Mike Richards have netted two points apiece on the season thus far, while youngster James Van Riemsdyk has kicked in three assists in two games. Not one of HM's favorites, you always have to keep an eye out for that sneaky little Danny Briere.
It's sure to be a rough and tumble affair with the likes of brawlers Riley Cote and Daniel Carcillo (Carcillo consistently leads the league in penalty minutes). Matt Bradley and John Erskine will have their work cut out for them indeed.
Ah yes, the Caps/Flyers rivalry just might get a little more heated tomorrow night - if that's even possible!