Bryzgalov can be an extremely good goalie when he is interested. The question is - does this game provide him more motivation or is he just approaching it like any other game. He is playing behind a very bad defense and a bunch of offensive-minded young forwards who think defense is optional.
Anything is possible and the key is not to get trapped into pregame hype. Edmonton has a game under their belt, the Flyers have one practice since their last game. In a historical comparison, Roman Cechmanek shut out the Flyers in his first game against them. Prior to that, Bob Froese was extraordinary in his first game (top star of the game).
One of two scenarios will play out tonight;
A Flyers don't show up to play, Bryz gets shut out, people point and laugh
B Flyers remember Bryz the team mate, go into rage, chase him from game by end of second
I might use Rosehill or Rinaldo instead of VandeVelde there, just for added physicality. Enforcers and agitators can create a lot of trouble for both teams as we know very well and around the league are seeing incidents but they can also be effective when playing with other competent players.
Look at Paille-Campbell-Thornton. We all know what Thornton has just did and that's the risk of having enforcers and players who play on the edge but that was a very effective line for a while. A lot of the other elite teams use a enforcer or agitator on the 4th line, but the idea is that they can also play hockey. Not sure if Rosehill fits that bill and Rinaldo has really, really regressed this year unfortunately.
I don't mind Hartnell on the 3rd line as long as he does his job, and moving Raffl off the top line would be a mistake given that he hasn't done anything to warrant a demotion at all. Downie is just coming back and I'm sure he'll see some PP time to make up for his limited minutes.
If/when Raffl is demoted, I'd like to see B. Schenn get a chance on the top line. As Raffl has shown, the G line works best when there is another quick, agile player who is good along the boards and in the corners. Brayden doesn't really fit that mold but if given the chance I'm sure he could produce especially if Giroux and Voracek are really firing on all cylinders.
Hartnell skated on the Couts line at practice yesterday. From what I can tell, it will be...
Raffl - G - Jake
Schenn - Vinny - Simmonds
Hartnell - Couturier - Read
Rinaldo - Hall - Downie
... I could very well be wrong, but that is my impression. I'm sure Couts and Read are super pumped to play with Hartnell tonight.
Speculation has included many variations. The Daily News proposed a set in which Lecavalier was dropped to a fourth line to replace Hall (prior to Hall's return):
The options are limitless. With Hall out, Lecavalier could center the fourth line and Downie could be reunited with Couturier and Read. VandeVelde can also play center. If Hall is in, he is likely to center the fourth line, leaving Lecavalier with Couturier and Read.