The Philadelphia Flyers are 15-13-7 through 35 games played and they’re struggling. One game they look like they can take down the best team in the NHL and the next they barely resemble a professional hockey team. This comes back to their strange ability to either play up to the level of competition or play down to it.
One Flyer, Jakub Voracek, has been under a ton of pressure this season. We recently discussed his struggles and just how concerning it might be after signing an eight-year/$66 million contract. But it seems like Voracek might be regaining his confidence as evidenced by his nine points (three goals, six assists) in his last six games played. Eight of those points have come in his last five games since moving to left wing on a line with Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds.
Jakub Voracek Slowly Finding His Scoring Touch
Voracek now sits with 24 points in 35 games and is slowly climbing the league’s leaderboard. His shooting percentage is at 3.9% and is well below his career average of 9.7%. But his three goals in his last six games are definitely an encouraging sign.
Some might call it “puck luck” or just that he’s finally getting a fair opportunity. At the start of the season Voracek seemingly would shoot the puck countless times a night and nothing would find the twine.
In the Flyers recent 4-2 loss, Voracek scored and was the beneficiary of a lucky play. Here’s his goal.
Voracek spoke about the goal and his team’s overall performance after the game and here’s what he had to say.
It was a two-on-two and I bumped the puck to Wayne Simmonds in the corner. He came around and bumped it to the D. Nick Schultz shot it. Lucky bounce. I was in a good spot. But we had too many power plays just to score one goal. It’s gonna happen.
Just like he’s slowly reversing his own struggles, the entire Flyers team should do the same.
It might have taken Voracek 35 games, five different line combinations and moving to a different wing, but he’s finding a groove and should continue his strong play. Much of a player’s game at the NHL can be influenced by things like their confidence and potential off-ice distractions. Whatever was causing him to struggle, seems to be in the past. The more goals he scores, the larger his confidence will grow and his shooting percentage should continue to climb.
There’s a lot wrong with the 2015-16 Flyers, but Voracek is finally not a problem of theirs and their second line has become their most effective line.
But just as the Flyers season has gone, as one star reverses his struggles another is beginning to slump. Fellow superstar Claude Giroux has now gone for five games without registering a point, the first time he’s done that since the five first games of the 2013-14 season.
Philadelphia remains the 29th lowest scoring team in the NHL and with Giroux’s recent struggles, pressure mounts on Voracek and it seems that he’s hitting his stride at just the right time.
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Michael Pityk is an analyst who has written for numerous sites since beginning his professional career. He’s acted as a credentialed member of the media for the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Penguins. His work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, The Sports Journal, MSN, PensLabyrinth, Montreal Hockey Talk, ESPN Pittsburgh, The Hockey Writers, Todays SlapShot and The Bleacher Report. He formerly was the editor of Pens Labyrinth and an analyst for The Sports Journal. Michael presently acts as an NHL Analyst for The Hockey Writers