Yesterday afternoon’s matchup against the Washington Capitals was a perfect microcosm of the Flyers’ season so far: scrambling and staying in games they may not have a right to be in. It also happened to be a classic Flyers vs. Caps game, with goals galore and back-and-forth action.
In a game that saw goal-scoring machine Alex Ovechkin produce two Top 10 SportsCenter-esque highlights, the Flyers managed to win by a score of 7-4. Here, at age 35, Ovi goes between his own legs and Phil Myers’ legs, then scores. Seriously, just ridiculous.
The Caps had ample opportunities as the Flyers were outshot yet again by a margin of 37-23, but the third line of Joel Farabee – Scott Laughton – James van Riemsdyk had 8 points combined, and were essentially the only reason the Flyers were in the game. This performance saw Laughton quickly achieve a sort of instant redemption.
In the prior loss to Boston, you could argue strongly that Laughton cost the Flyers the game with his terrible interference penalty at the end of regulation. In yesterday’s victory, Laughton scored his first career hat trick. After going down 2-0 to Washington, he scored the next two goals to tie the contest. Look at this beautiful pass to Farabee, and then he ends up slotting home the rebound:
Scrolling through Twitter, I saw many people calling for him to benched after the Boston game. Through 13 games so far, he has 9 points and has a +/- of +6. I would take that on a third or fourth line any day, of course you have to consider how big of an impact last night had on his numbers.
JVR continued his hot streak, he is playing with confidence and it is really enjoyable to watch. Whether you are in the camp of keeping him or hoping Seattle takes him, JVR stock is on the rise. This snipe coming down the wing had me jumping out of my seat:
Yesterday also saw the return of Sean Couturier, and he did not waste any time getting back on the scoresheet. The man known as “Coots” scored twice, one being the empty net dagger to finish off Washington. I was surprised to see him playing but having him back with his full skating legs will be huge in helping this team try and stabilize itself defensively.
With the Capitals right behind Philly in the standings, this win creates a three-point gap between the two teams. The Flyers are also now tied with Boston, with each team sitting at 18 points. For a team with some clear early season struggles, it is vital for them to stay around the top of the division. The fact this team has this record with how they have been playing a majority of the season, it makes you think what if the Flyers hit their groove?
The orange and black will have to do a better job dealing with Ovechkin Wednesday night as the two teams face off again at 6:00PM. One main question I have is, will we see Carter Hart or Brian Elliot in net?