Make that four straight victories for the orange and black.
After losing two consecutive games to the Boston Bruins, the Flyers have since taken both games from the Devils and Islanders, respectively. It is important to note that obviously a win is a win, but both games saw New York make comebacks in the third period to force OT. Not necessarily closing games out strong and lowering stress levels.
The trend of being pretty severely outshot continued throughout this two-game miniseries. Philly only recorded 17 shots in the first game compared to 28 from the Islanders. The second contest saw the Flyers almost hit 30 shots, but they also conceded 36 shots at the same time. This Islander team was seventh out of eight spots in the division entering this contest (and still remain there), but that is another testament to the division’s parity and competition.
Another development from these two wins that needs quick correcting is penalties. In both games against New York, Philly racked up 8 and 12 penalty minutes. That is giving the opponent four and six powerplay chances a game essentially, while also killing any momentum starting to build for your own team. I’m sure head coach Alain Vigneault will move to rectify that issue quite quickly.
He recorded an assist in the 3-2 victory in the first matchup, then assisted on all four Flyer goals in the 4-3 OT victory last night. That puts him in first place for points on the team with 13 points in 10 games. Who saw this coming at the start of this season?
I know we’re only 10 games into the season, but I’m not sure why the majority of the fanbase seems so eager to expose JVR to Seattle. He looks like a revitalized player, he is skating better and giving more effort on both ends and has really made the net front his domain.
I don’t know how easy it is to replace a player of JVR’s caliber, I just don’t. Yet, I understand the cap concerns. It is a tough situation to be in, let’s just hope his strong play continues.
Captain Claude Giroux continued his strong beginning to the season as well, notching an assist in each game. His play has been a driving force for the hockey club, his +5 rating leads the team. G is on the ice when the Flyers score goals, even though he only has one goal himself.
The patience here not to shoot, draw the defense in then make the perfect pass? A thing of beauty:
I want to mention Brian Elliott’s play as well, as bringing him back may be one of the best decisions of the Flyers’ offseason. Elliot was rock solid in last night’s victory, making the saves you need to hold off a team outshooting you like NYI were. Even though he has been mostly solid in his Philly tenure, this has to be the best version of Elliot I have seen since he was in St. Louis years ago.
He looks mobile in his crease and has really tracked the puck well though traffic. This isn’t anywhere near the Elliott you saw playing injured in the playoffs back in 2018, he looks fully healthy and focused.
Shayne Gostisbehere’s insertion into the lineup and Phil Myers’ return resulted in an improved defense, although by no means is the defense where it can and should be eventually. This saw Erik Gustafsson and Robert Hagg removed from the lineup, clearly AV still seeing what he is working with.
Travis Konecny was even healthy scratched for the first game of this series, Vigneault is not afraid to hold players accountable.
Last but certainly not least whatsoever is Joel Farabee, who looks to be developing his offensive game quite nicely.
“Philly Joel” is the second-youngest Flyer ever to record a hat trick, which he did last night. Truly an impressive accomplishment, especially when you consider what company he is in.
Lindros, what a monster.
The Flyers have a few days rest before they face the Bruins again Wednesday night. They will be looking to beat a Boston squad that beat the Flyers twice in a row a few weeks ago.
Do the Flyers have what it takes to win five straight?