February 1, 2013 - Lightning take an early lead, and end it with the score of 8-3. Photos: R. Pitts/ CC Media + Entertainment
Steven Stamkos met with fans during the holidays!
Photots from the Bolts' 4-3 win over Buffalo on October 25th, 2011
When you spend all but one year of your professional career with an NHL team and are now employed as a radio analyst for the same franchise, usually some bias occurs.
That is not the case for former defenseman Chris Therien, at least, not when it comes to talking about the Lightning-Flyers match up.
Therien played with Philadelphia for over 10 seasons and is now the color commentator for the Flyers' radio broadcasts. Tuesday morning he made a few honest and revealing statements when he joined The Sports Page on 620 WDAE.
"I saw the best performance anyone has put in against the Flyers this year in Tampa Bay," Therien said, "They were terrific in that game."
The game Therien is referring to was the Lightning's 5-1 victory on January 27th against the former defenseman's club at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Lightning outshot the Flyers 26-25 in the contest as Philadelphia's backup netminder Michael Leighton was between the pipes. Tonight, the Flyers will have starting goalie Ilya Bryzglaov in net and are hoping it will make a huge difference.
Another factor Philadelphia will have to consider - keeping all of their men on the ice as much as possible.
"To me, that's the best power play in the league," Therien said of Tampa Bay's high octane crew, adding, "They're very, very impressive."
Keeping five skaters in the game is a tall order for the Flyers who lead the Eastern Conference with 53 penalty minutes, second overall in the league.
Penalties and physicality have been synonomous with Philadelphia since the days of the "Broad Street Bullies" in the early 70's, causing the Flyers to have several rivalries, one of which is Tampa Bay - which dates back to the 1996 playoff series in the Thunderdome in St. Pete.
Therien considers those six games, "The meanest series I've ever been in."
The XVII Winter Olympics Silver Medalist described Philadelphia's physical play as "a combination between the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys", and the Flyers certainly have a way of sucking the Lightning into their blue-collar style.
With the 10th best penalty kill (83.3 percent), top-ranked power play (36.1 percent), and the offensive firepower of an artillery division, the Bolts should feel confident heading into Philadelphia to take on their 3-6 rivals.
Through eight games, the Lightning offense has simply been dominating, ranked first in the NHL with 39 goals; nine more than St. Louis, who is ranked second, and will look to improve on their 6-2 record in their 20th anniversary season.
For the full audio of Therien's interview, click below: