During the Flyers bye week, the NHL announced the all-star teams. One name missing? Flyers Sean Couturier.
Sean Couturier is having a career year. Entering yesterday’s game, Couturier had 23 goals and 19 assists. However, he was left off the all-star team.
The NHL’s rules state that each team most have at least one representative. The league chose Claude Giroux for the Flyers. But, with only 8 teams in the metro, Couturier had another chance. He lost out to Islanders Josh Bailey as the extra man.
With Couturier’s strong performance, he showed why he deserved to be in the all-star game. Couturier scored 2 goals and had an assist yesterday, marking his 3rd straight 2-goal game.
25 goals on the season for Couturier! pic.twitter.com/2883vlvow1
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) January 14, 2018
Even with the snub, it did not hinder Couturier at all.
Here are 4 more observations from the Flyers 5-3 win over the Devils…
Patrick vs Hischier
Yesterday’s game was the first meeting between the top two picks from the 2017 draft. Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier were the two jewels of the draft. The Devils had the 1st pick and the choice between the two. After much discussion, they took Nico Hischier #1 overall and Patrick fell to the Flyers at #2.
In their first battle, Hischier had the upper hand. Hischier finished the game with one assist in 15:52 ice time. His lone assist came setting up the Devils first goal. He stayed with a loose puck and slid a slick pass across to Jesper Bratt for a slam dunk.
Patrick didn’t fair as well. After taking 2 minor penalties in the 2nd period, Patrick did not play for majority of the remaining time left in the game. Patrick finished with no points in 8:59 ice time. After taking those 2 penalties in the 2nd period, Patrick only played 4:54 the rest of the game.
This is only game one against each other. These two have many more games to come in the future against each other.
Penalty Kill To The Rescue
After starting the month 0 for 3, the penalty kill has responded. In the previous 2 games, the Flyers penalty kill was 3 of 4. That resurgence continued tonight.
The Flyers took the first 5 penalties of the game tonight. The penalty kill stood tall and killed off 4 of them. For the game, the Flyers were 5 for 7. However, you can say they were 5 for 6 as they gave up a PP goal with 45 seconds left in a 5-2 game at the time.
If you take the strong performance of the Flyers penalty kill out of this game, they may not have won. With a team taking 5 penalties before the halfway point of the game and still winning? It shows how important the penalty killing was to the outcome of the game.
Coming off a bye, you expect everybody to be ready to play. Well, that wasn’t the case for Flyers Shayne Gostisbehere. Gostisbehere did not play tonight after coming back from the bye sick.
Yesterday, in the Flyers 1st practice back from the bye, Gostisbehere was the only Flyer missing. But it didn’t seem like he was going to miss tonight’s game.
However, after Dave Hakstol changed the defense pairings during morning skate, you knew he wasn’t able to play. The Flyers made the right decision to keep him away from everybody else and not risk the sickness hitting someone else.
With the win, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol earned his 100 career win. It has taken Hakstol just 2 1/2 seasons to reach the 100th win mark.
In 213 career games behind the Flyers bench, Hakstol is 102-79-32. He may have been an odd choice coming into his 1st season, but he is doing a great job.
He becomes only the 10th coach in Flyers history to win 100 games with the Flyers.
Result : Flyers 5 – Devils 3, WIN
Record : 20 – 15 – 8
Next Game : 1/16 New York Rangers, New York NY, 7:00 pm NBCSports Philadelphia
Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports