I cannot ever remember seeing a player score two hat tricks against the same team, during the same season. That is what David Pastrnak did last night against us, as the Bruins put up a touchdown and beat the Flyers 7-3 on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
With the Flyers entering this game still missing a handful of key players, it was not fair to expect them to win against a Boston team that had already beaten them four times to start the season. Flyers fans were treated to Mark Friedman and Samuel Morin playing forward against the top team in the East Division, not ideal to say the least.
This game did not even start to get bad until the second half of the second period. It was a great game heading into the second, tied 2-2 with goals from Joel Farabee and Sean Couturier. Of course, when Coots gets back and he is playing solid hockey, we are missing half of the rest of the team.
Speaking of Farabee, he continues to find himself on the score sheet as this truly seems like his breakout season. He has points in four of his last five games, sitting at 14 points in 15 games.
Fast forward to a second period that saw the Bruins score four goals. Pastrnak scored under a minute into the period, right after he scored around 30 seconds into the first period. Give me a break, man. The Bruins then scored three goals in rapid succession at the end of the period, effectively ending the game with the Flyers looking at a four-goal deficit.
I cannot talk about that decisive second period without mentioning the play of Carter Hart. Everyone agrees that he did not have his best night last night. However, I saw post after post on social media showing an increased amount of worry over Hart overall that I do not believe is warranted.
I am not going to tell you Hart has been himself this season, because he simply has not been. That is not to say he has not had his games where he played well, but the team in front of him did not. In regard to last night, he was playing behind a B-team essentially and just lost his confidence after the weak goal from Travis Frederic. It is also important to consider this season he is facing way more shots than he was last year, the Flyers defense has not provided the same level of support.
For example, the shot total was 35-19 in favor of Boston. That is not going to grab you a win against that caliber of team, especially if your goaltender is not on his A-game for at least the majority of the game. Four of Hart’s six losses are against the Bruins, so is Hart really playing that bad?
The Flyers managed to grab a lucky consolation goal in the third period courtesy of James van Riemsdyk. In a game where JVR became the all-time leader in outdoor games played, he also racked up three points with a goal and two assists. One of those points happened to be number 500 for JVR as well.
Philadelphia is now sitting in third place behind the Capitals and Bruins with 19 points, also tied with the Penguins and Islanders. The Flyers play on national television once again this Wednesday, as they faceoff against the New York Rangers. New York now is without star Artemi Panarin, so that should help the Flyers try and get back in the win column.