Let the Chuck Fletcher era begin.
The Flyers (11-12-2) welcome the Blue Jackets (15-10-2) Thursday night for the first game under their new general manager.
Let's look at the essentials:
• When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
• Where: Wells Fargo Center
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• James van Riemsdyk is seven games into his return and he's been relatively quiet. He has points in just one of those seven contests when he put up a goal and two assists during the 6-5 overtime loss to the Lightning on Nov. 17.
Still, it's important to remember where he is after missing nearly a month and a half of game action with a lower-body injury.
Head coach Dave Hakstol highlighted that after Thursday's morning skate:
Pretty good 200-foot play. He's been pretty good on the puck, he's been good defensively, he's starting to feel some things offensively. It's about the timeframe, coming off that long injury at this time of year. Basically, he's got to leap from preseason level to midyear and we're six, seven games in now, so you can see it coming a little bit more for him.
You can look at Sean Couturier as a good example. He missed preseason time because of a lower-body injury and was slow out of the gates to start the regular season. After just three points in his first 11 games, Couturier has 16 points in his last 14 games.
• The Flyers are looking to win consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 5-10, when they won three straight.
To do so, they'll have to beat Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets, who are one point behind the Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
For the second time this season, the Flyers will face Bobrovsky after the goalie has allowed eight goals in a game.
"I think it's pretty rare that he's even going to let in more than three in a game," Travis Konecny said. "So we're not looking at that as an opportunity to take advantage of him. We know he's going to come out pretty solid tonight and put his best foot forward."
Bobrovsky, of course, has had his way with the Flyers over his career, going 11-3-1 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .931 save percentage against his former team.
• There will be a sense of newness tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.
Not only will Fletcher see his first game as general manager before a five-game road trip, but Rick Wilson will also be on the bench for his first game as a Flyers assistant coach.
Wilson could impact the Flyers in a few ways (see story).
• Hey, it's 90s night.
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Nolan Patrick-Wayne Simmonds
Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom-Jori Lehtera-Dale Weise
Shayne Gostisbehere-Ivan Provorov
Andrew MacDonald-Robert Hagg
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas
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