Early November has been the surge the Philadelphia Flyers needed after a mixed bag of results in October of the 2019-20 NHL Season. In a stunning shootout win against the Boston Bruins, the Flyers showed resilience and tenacity to continue their four-game win streak. Needing extra time in five of their last six games they have shown a great flair for the dramatic.
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Driving fans and the coaching staff to edge of their seats the Flyers currently sit at 10-5-2, good for third in the Metropolitan Division. They have scored the first goal in four straight games and tonight they leaned heavily on Carter Hart’s three saves in the shootout to cap their short road trip.
Flyers’ Fast Starts
The Flyers took the lead early with two goals in the first period while also snuffing out the Bruins’ offense. Travis Konecny and Philippe Myers continued their phenomenal play as the team held the Bruins to just ten shots through two periods. Myers has been making the most of his NHL call up as he has scored in three consecutive games.
The Bruins battled back to tie and forced overtime while peppering Hart with 17 shots in the third and overtime periods. Hart was also called upon to make big saves in a later power play chance for the Bruins while also stopping David Pastrnak on a penalty shot. Joel Farabee scored the only goal in the shootout as the Flyers secured a dramatic win against a big-time Eastern Conference opponent.
The Flyers have taken and subsequently given up the lead in three straight games. While this is cause for some alarm the team has maintained their “bend don’t break” mindset. Head coach Alain Vigneault has shown great trust in all four lines by playing them almost evenly. For the first time in what seems like forever the Flyers have a fourth line that can be counted on to play big minutes. Michael Raffl, Tyler Pitlick, and Andy Andreoff have earned their time on the ice in each game.
They bring energy and grit to the lineup, often being deployed against other teams scoring lines. A special mention to Raffl as he has adapted to play center and has performed when the Flyers needed him.
Team Stand Outs
Myers has made the most of his call up with the big club riding a three-game point streak. But the emergence of Oskar Lindblom and the second line in general (Konecny and Sean Couturier) has been the missing link to this Flyers’ lineup. Lindblom currently sits at 14 points with 8 goals and 6 assists, while playing in all situations for the club. Vigneault has leaned on Lindblom at five on five, on the penalty kill and power play, and even starting him in overtime with Claude Giroux. His play and the play of the second line has given this team life and scoring when they have needed it most.
The second line also makes up most of the Flyers’ second power-play unit which has outscored the first unit so far this season. It’s been quite a while since the Flyers have had two effective power-play units, and it has paid dividends in the early season.
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The Flyers have achieved 10 wins through the first 17 games of the season. You have to look back to 2011 for the last time a Flyers team achieved that, and guess what? The Flyers made the playoffs that season. There is much work still to be done this season and the Flyers will have to rely heavily on their exceptional special teams play and goaltending. If Vigneault can continue to keep all four line productive, as well as the defense, this team will be a challenge for any club.