Five Flyers Observations: The magic number is down to 1

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After giving up the games first goal and falling behind 2-1, the Flyers came back with fiery and fire and defeated the Hurricanes 4-3. The Flyers got contributions from multiple players tonight. They were led by Shayne Gostisbehere and Sean Couturier, who both had 2-point nights.

The Flyers also got goals from Michael Raffl, Ivan Provorov, Claude Giroux, & Jake Voracek, while Brian Elliott stopped 19 of the 22 shots he faced in his return. Including 16 of the last 17 shots he faced.

Unfortunately, with a Florida win, the Flyers did not clinch a playoff spot tonight. However, they did lower their magic number to 1. If the Flyers win or go to overtime on Saturday, they will clinch a playoff spot.

Here are 4 more observations from the Flyers 4-3 win over the Hurricanes:

 

Elliott Returns
After a shaky start, Brian Elliott showed why he is the Flyers #1. Elliott, who gave up 2 goals on the first 5 shots he faced, settled in and helped lead the Flyers to victory.

Elliott, who was playing in his first game since February 10th, had to shake off some rust early in the game, but recovered nicely. However, he did have some shaky moments late in the 3rd that had the Wells Fargo Center crowd wooing.

In the end, Elliott stopped 16 of the remaining 17 shots he faced to earn the victory and a Flyers win. With one game under his belt now, Elliott should be back to somewhat normal on Saturday when the Flyers face the Rangers.

 

Mr. 100?
Well, it didn’t happen tonight. But, Flyers captain, Claude Giroux, scored his 31st goal of the season. A new career high for him. However, they shouldn’t have been the only point on the night for Giroux.

On the Flyers first goal, Giroux skated the puck into the zone and did a spin-o-rama and passed the puck into the middle of the ice. It hit Hurricanes Justin Williams stick, while he was driving back and went right to Raffl who fired it home.

However, according the the referee’s and the league scorers, they saw the Justin Williams deflection as a change of possession. With that change of possession, that made Raffl’s goal unassisted.

The Flyers can send in a petition of reversal to the league office to get an assist added. But, if Giroux misses 100 because of that? The league should be embarrassed because Justin Williams didn’t even know he touched the puck, nor even knew where the puck was.

You decide….

               Update: Petition was denied

 

The Next Shift
Something that has stuck with the Flyers this season is the next shift. But, it is the wrong side of the next shift. Countless times this season, the Flyers have given up a goal on the next shift following a goal.

Tonight, it happened again. Just 14 seconds after Michael Raffl tied the game 1-1, the Hurricanes took the lead again. The Hurricanes scored off a poor defensive zone coverage of the Hurricanes second line.

After creating a turnover at the point, the puck was fed around behind the net. Aho, the eventual goal scorer, collected it, stepped in-front, and put it over Brian Elliott’s shoulder for the goal.

This issue, problem, breakdown, whatever you want to call it, has caused the Flyers pain throughout the season. However, it is happening again at the time when the Flyers can least afford it too. In a must win game to secure a playoff spot.

 

It’s Award Season
At the end of each season, the Flyers give out 6 awards to Flyers that stand out as MVP, Courage Leaders, Most Improved, Best Defensemen, Toyota Cup Winner, and writers MVP.

Well, someone got a lot of hardware. Who you might ask? Well, it was the most-improved, writers MVP, and the player with the most “Hart”, Sean Couturier.

Couturier took home half of the awards that the Flyers give out and they were all well-deserved. Here are the full list of winners.

Bobby Clarke Trophy (Most Valuable Player) – Claude Giroux

Barry Ashbee Trophy (Outstanding Defenseman) – Shayne Gostisbehere

Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy (Most Improved Player) – Sean Couturier

Yanick Dupre Class Guy Memorial Award – Sean Couturier

Gene Hart Memorial Award – Sean Couturier

Toyota Cup – Claude Giroux

 

Result : Flyers 4 – Hurricanes 3, WIN

Record : 41 – 26 – 14

Next Game : 4/7 New York Rangers, Philadelphia PA, NBCSports Philadelphia 3:00PM

 

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Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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