Philadelphia Flyers rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov, as well as pending free agent Roman Lyubimov, will be in the lineup today for Team Russia as they take on Team Switzerland in preparation for next month’s World Championships. Russia will play Switzerland twice this weekend, on both Friday and Saturday night.
Other notable names in the lineup include Valery Nichushkin and Vladislav Namestnikov. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy will not be in the lineup this weekend, however.
The two Flyers should both play significant roles for Russia in the World Championships. Provorov has proven himself as a top-pair defenseman in the NHL and Lyubimov thrived in last year’s tournament.
Here is what we wrote about the two when they were announced:
This will be the first time playing at the World Championships for Provorov at just 20 years old. He has previously represented his country at the World Junior Championships both as an 18-year old and a 19-year old. Last year Provorov had eight points, all assists, and a plus-2 rating in seven games at the World Junior Championship as Russia won the silver medal.
It’s a deserving honor for the rookie defenseman, who won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers’ most outstanding defenseman. He will be the only defenseman to play in all 82 games for the Flyers this season. He has six goals and 23 assists for 30 points while averaging just under 22 minutes a game this season.
Lyubimov, on the other hand, is a veteran of sorts for Team Russia at the World Championships while not playing much this season for the Flyers. He showcased himself well last year for Russia, with four goals and four assists for eight points and a plus-5 rating in 10 games.
Lyubimov scored four goals and added two assists for six points in 47 games this season with the Flyers. He is expected to leave this summer as a free agent.
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Sons of Penn Radio (January 23rd)
On this week of SOP Radio, we celebrate a thrilling overtime victory, discuss Dave Hakstol’s coaching decisions, and forecast potential trade opportunities and prospect development.