I’m going to keep this a little bit shorter than normal, but the Flyers swept their sixth week of competition, rattling off three wins. Were they against the Rangers and Sabres? Yes, and that’s a big factor, but every single win is crucial this season so I’m not complaining. The Flyers needed to win three games this season, and do so convincingly because that’s what good teams do. Other than the Rangers game, I’d say they just that.
Game 1: Flyers 4 Rangers 3
Just as I said a second ago, this isn’t the same as beating a fully healthy Boston team by any means, but there are some good takeaways from this game. Those who have read my articles before know my distaste for Therrien’s power play. The PP in this game, however, looked substantially better against a Rangers penalty kill that coming into the game was the hottest PK in the league. Did they only go 2 for 6 and not score on a 1:30 5-on-3? Yes, but two power play goals, a plethora of solid chances, and getting pucks on cage was noticeably different in the best way. Hopefully this continues. To ground myself, I’ll note that the Flyers still really hate 2 goal leads.
Games 2 and 3: Flyers 3 Sabres 0
To pull back the curtain, I didn’t actually get to watch these games. Because of that, I won’t be commenting on how the team looked, just the result. Something I truly believe in is good teams should completely handle bad teams. For as long as I can remember, the Flyers always seemed to stoop to the level of a poorer team they were playing against. Not this weekend, though. This weekend, they rolled in against a sorry Sabres team who should probably trade Eichel now, and didn’t allow a single goal. That’s what I’m talking about when I say handling bad teams. You can say all you want about “it was just the Sabres,” and you’d be kind of right. If the Flyers won both in OT or both by a score of, say, 5-4, I wouldn’t be too happy. But back to back shutouts in the NHL is nothing to scoff at. This needed to happen for this team’s, and Carter Hart’s confidence.
Who’s Hot: JVR, Farabee…STILL
At some point, I’m just going to start copying and pasting for this segment. These guys just keep putting up numbers together as the lifeblood of the Flyers’ offense. It’s safe to say that without these two, this team doesn’t look good. In the three games played last week, JVR netted 2G 2A for 4 points, while Farabee had 3 apples himself. I’m running out of words to say about them at this point. These two together just work and Farabee should be a stud in this league for a long time.
Who’s Not: Nolan Patrick
I unfortunately think it’s long overdue NoPat finds himself in this part of the column. Another pointless last three games, and it just seems like he’s struggling to find himself on the ice. Are there times where he flashes the talent that made him a number 2 overall pick? Yes, but those instances are few and far between. He’s been given plenty of different line combinations in hopes that he gels well enough with some guys to put points up, but every time nothing special really comes of it. All this while the guy who was drafted one spot ahead of him just got named captain, and the next 3 are tearing up the league. It has to be tough on him mentally, and I hope he finally breaks through, but Patrick just can’t seem to find his game.
Goals: JVR – 10
Assists: JVR – 15
Points: JVR – 25
Plus/Minus: Provorov, JVR, Couturier +8
TOI/Game: Provorov – 25:38
Tuesday @ Pittsburgh – 7 p.m.
Thursday @ Pittsburgh – 7 p.m.
Saturday @ Pittsburgh – 1 p.m.
Sunday vs. Washington – 7 p.m.
It was great to see a fully healthy Flyers team back in action and ready to make an impact. These next few weeks are going to have a lot of games so it’s good that they’re ready to go and full of confidence. They’ll be facing good teams as well so it’ll be a very good test of how good of team the 2021 Flyers actually are. While I try to be realistic, I’ve got a feeling this team can go places. Let’s go Flyers.