1. Kevin Hayes
The Boston Bruins can play a physical brand of hockey and, even though they are nowhere near the big, bad Bruins of yesteryear, they can still mix it with the best of them when needed and they have players on the backend who can play physical and dominate that aspect of the game.
As a result, the Philadelphia Flyers will need to be prepared for a battle on Sunday, especially in outdoor conditions, and this is where Kevin Hayes comes in. The power forward, who was born in Dorchester, is one of Philadelphia’s most physical players and he will need to be prepared to bring the grit on Sunday.
Not only that but, without the likes of Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek in the lineup, the Flyers will need someone to step up and lead by example in a number of areas and Hayes can certainly do that. He has a 49.3 percent win rate in the faceoff circle this season and will be relied upon in that area, while he will also no doubt see an increase in his ice time having averaged 19:01 of total ice time so far.
Hayes is also a penalty killing expert and, given the Boston Bruins’ dominance on the power play, he will be expected to play a real physical brand of hockey and do whatever he needs to do in order to disrupt the Bruins’ most potent offensive weapons and prevent them from having a big impact on proceedings.
With six goals and seven assists for 13 points in 14 games too, and currently shooting the puck at a 17.6 percent clip, Kevin Hayes can certainly provide a scoring punch and, with the amount of key offensive players that will be out of the lineup for the Philadelphia Flyers at Lake Tahoe this Sunday, the center will need to be a dominant presence in all three zones in order to give his team the best possible chance of claiming victory in the second of the NHL’s Outdoor games this weekend.