Five Flyers Observations: Nolan Patrick starting to show his #1 overall potential

Two minutes into the 2nd period, Nolan Patrick picked the pocket of Derrick Brassard at the point. He proceeded to pass the puck to Voracek in the corner who put it on net and went in.

The goal was originally credited to Patrick on the ice. But it was later changed to Voracek after it was reviewed and showed Patrick never touched it.

However, it was the whole play that showed what Patrick is starting to become. Patrick set-up the play by a great defensive play at the blue-line.

After a slow start to his rookie season, Patrick has finally found his way and has came on strong. In his first 40 games, Patrick had 3 G & 6 A. But, he has turned it on and has 7 G & 5 A in his last 18 games.

Here are 4 more observations from the Flyers 5-2 loss to the Penguins…


Lack of discipline Settling In
When the Flyers left the 1st period, both Radko Gudas and Ivan Provorov had over 3 + minutes of penalty-kill ice time. Now, if that was the end of the game, it wouldn’t be so bad. But, after the 1st period? Not so much.

The Flyers took 4 penalties in the 1st period. Now, the 2nd penalty was a bad call. However, to give the likes of Crosby, Malkin, & Kessel 4 chances to score on the man-advantage is not a good strategy.

The Penguins only scored on 1 of them. A good point for the penalty kill units. However, to be put under that much stress in one period, that is the issue.

The Flyers went a stretch not to long along without taking a penalty in 3 straight games. But, this was the Flyers 2nd straight game of taking more than 4 penalties in a game.


Where Has The Power-Play Gone?
One thing the Flyers are known for is their power-play. At the end of each season, no matter what their record is, they always seem to be in the top 10 in power-play rankings.

However, the Flyers are in a slump. Dating back to February 22nd, since then the Flyers have gone 1 for 19. A stretch that has seen the Flyers go 0 for their last 7. Including tonight’s 0 for 5 spell.

With the Flyers struggling at both 5v5 and 5v4, they need to turn one or the other around quickly or we could see another lengthy losing streak. With tonight’s loss, the Flyers are currently riding a 4-game slide.


Whats Wrong With Mrazek?
After coming in and shining in his first 3 games as a Flyer, Petr Mrazek has cooled off and its hurting the Flyers. Giving up only 4 goals in his first 3 games as a Flyer, Mrazek has given up 18 in his last 4.

Now, not all the goals have been Mrazek’s fault. However, the majority of them have. But, I wouldn’t say its his fault.

When you look back to his time in Detroit, Mrazek struggled when he didn’t rest. Mrazek has started the last 7 games for the Flyers, including a back-to-back. The back-to-back was a poor choice by head coach Dave Hakstol.

In the 2 games prior, Mrazek struggled and was in need of a rest. However, Hakstol put him in and Mrazek struggled, giving up 4 goals in Florida.

Tonight, Mrazek was left for dry on multiple occasions. The Flyers looked slow against the more fast paced Penguins and it showed on the scoreboard.

If the Flyers want to hold a playoff spot, they need Mrazek to turn-around his recent play.


Playoffs Becoming Worst Case Scenario
With the Flyers trending in the wrong direction and other teams going in the right direction, the Flyers could be in the worst case scenario come playoff time. After their 4th straight loss, the Flyers currently sit 3rd in the Metro Division, but just 3-points ahead of the Devils.

However, the Devils are the least of their worries.

If the Panthers continue to do what they are doing, the 4th team in the Metro will be playing the Tampa Bay Lightning. At the moment, the Panthers sit at 71 points. However they have 3 games in hand and with their recent play, they aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

Which, if they continue their stretch and take over the WC1 position, the 4th team in the Metro will not play the winner of the weaker Metro. No. They will play the leagues best team in the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Flyers, if they cant find ways to win games like they have been doing over the 2nd half of the year, will be in a battle with the Devils for that 3rd and 4th spot in the division.


Result : Flyers 2 – Penguins 5, LOSS

Record : 34 – 22 – 11

Next Game : 3/8 Boston Bruins, Boston MA, NBCSports Philadelphia +


Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Flyers reporter for Philly Sports Network Neumann Knights ~ Retired College Athlete "Dont blame the messenger"

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