NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
If you were expecting the defending Stanley Cup Champions to take a step back this year, you were mistaken. Not only are the Blues in first place in the Central Division, they also have a nine-point lead over second-place Dallas. Their play at home has been particularly impressive.
Heading into tonight’s clash, the Blues have a 17-4-3 record at Enterprise Center in 2019-20. They’ve also rattled off nine consecutive victories on home ice dating back to Dec. 12.
“It’s tough to keep track (of streaks) when you play on the road, so it’s not something you really think about,” Blues forward Jaden Schwartz said. “But we’re finding different ways to win — and each night different lines, different guys are chipping in… Both goalies are kicking. Doing the little things right, playing well as a team.”
This will be the last home game the Blues play in a while. They’ll hit the road Saturday in Colorado against the Avalanche, they’ll have next week off and they’ll come out of the break with road games in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. The next time they play at Enterprise Center is on Feb. 4.
“I thought that last year, we struggled at home at times… But I think we’re more consistent for sure this year,” said head coach Craig Berube. “And we’re doing a better job of sticking to what works… At times last year, we were too cute at home. Maybe, I don’t know, trying to impress the fans. Whatever it is. But I don’t find we’re doing that this year. We’re just playing our game, the same as we do on the road.”
As for the Flyers, they’re currently sitting in the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Like the Blues, Philadelphia has been terrific on home ice this year (they’re 15-3-4), but they’ve struggled mightily away from their own rink. The Flyers are 9-13-2 outside of the Wells Fargo Center.
“I wish I had a true answer,” forward Kevin Hayes said of his team’s struggles on the road. “We’ve been great at home and we’ve been garbage on the road. There’s only one way to play and it’s the right way, and we need to figure out our stuff on the road.”
To make matters worse for the Flyers, Carter Hart suffered an injury during practice yesterday. The team was forced to recall goalie Alex Lyon from the minors.
This is a huge game for the Flyers, as they continue to try to lock down a playoff spot in the conference. Not to say that the Blues don’t need this win, but they’re in a more comfortable spot in the standings.
Kathryn Tappen will host Wednesday’s coverage on NHL Live alongside analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones and NHL insider Darren Dreger. Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Brian Boucher will call Flyers-Blues from Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.