It was one of the Philadelphia Flyers more complete games of the season. It was also against a team that causes the Flyers all kinds of problems, the Tampa bay Lightning. In a game the Flyers absolutely had to have, the orange and black came with a big effort en route to a 4-2 victory on Saturday afternoon. So what can we take from the impressive win?
Let’s start with the line of Jake Voracek, Sean Couturier and Travis Konecney. By far the Flyers best and most dangerous line all day long. The speed of Voracek and Konecney gave Tampa fits all day. The line combined for two goals, two assists and was a +4. Next, Ivan Provorov just gets better each and every game. An assist, +1 and 23:05 of ice time. He controls the game, knows when to jump into the play, and is positionally sound. He is a stud and the anchor on the blue line for years to come.
Some of the decisions by Coach Dave Hakstol. Pierre Bellemare played 12:10 and was -1, Chris VandeVelde played 11:40 and was -2. Yet Konecney, who was the spark plug the whole game, only played 12:44. The Flyers were only short handed twice (with VandeVelde being in the box once). Get the kid out on the ice more. The Flyers need all the speed and offensive talent out there as much as possible in order to create chances against such a tricky opponent.
The line of Bellemare, VandeVelde and Boyd Gordon was a combined -4, had one shot, and had no points. If they are not going to score, they need to at least hold their own. Tampa used its speed against that line and flew by them like they weren’t even there. They need more of an effort from that line. Sit VandeVelde and put in Roman Lyubimov, please.
Overall, it was a great game by the Flyers. They outplayed and out-hustled the Lightning. But, let’s remember, it’s one game. A much tougher test awaits the Flyers as they travel to Colombus to face the Blue Jackets who suddenly have lost two straight. They will need another 60 minute effort to win their second in a row.
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