Key storylines to watch out for across the NHL’s two Outdoor Games at Lake Tahoe

The Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Alain Vigneault
Head coach Alain Vigneault of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Can Vigneault stay perfect?

Philadelphia Flyers Head Coach Alain Vigneault knows a thing or two about being behind the bench for Outdoor Games in the National Hockey League, and he boasts a perfect 3-0-0 record going into Sunday’s Lake Tahoe showdown against the Boston Bruins.

So, can Vigneault stay perfect come the conclusion of this weekend?

Well, it isn’t going to be easy. As we mapped out here, the Flyers are going to be without six huge pieces of their lineup with defenseman Justin Braun and forwards Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom and Jakub Voracek all on the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol list.

That is a hell of a lot of firepower and star power to be missing and, as a result, the Flyers are going to have to adapt and even get creative in order to try and beat the Bruins for the first time this season having lost their previous four encounters.

For instance, defenseman Mark Friedman was skating on a fourth-line with forwards Andy Andreoff and Samuel Morin on Friday, after forward Maksim Sushko made his NHL debut in a Shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday.

The Flyers are going to be severely undermanned against the East Division-leading Boston Bruins, so they are going to have to be smart with the puck and they will also have to be incredibly smart with their line changes in order to ensure that the players they do have available stay fresh.

If they can achieve both of those things then it may just help Alain Vigneault stay perfect in Outdoor games, although it isn’t going to be easy given how depleted the Philadelphia Flyers are, coupled with the fact that they have consistently struggled against the Bruins so far in 2020-21.