Coming in with a lot of momentum and excitement, the Philadelphia Flyers look to take on another young team in the Colorado Avalanche. Last night’s performance was one the Flyers can look back on with some positives, but overall it’s a game they’ll point to as an example of how doing the little things right makes all the difference. The Flyers came out slow (once again) and made too many mistakes, for a speedy and high scoring team like the Avs. Brian Elliott played a strong game, which is good news, but the Flyers did not provide him the support he needed to hold the score.
Dave Hakstol went on a hunch and rotated Gudas out of the lineup and it did not pay off at all. While I trust that newcomer Christian Folin can provide a better performance, I would say he set himself back a bit and might be relegated to the press box for the next stretch of games. However, he wasn’t the only person to make low percentage plays, but I did find myself nervous every time he was near the play. On the flip side, Travis Sanheim seems to be close to making some noise, he looks better every game and I anticipate he’ll get more power play minutes moving forward. With the JVR injury up in the air, look for the Flyers to make some lineup changes and get Sanheim more time on the second power play unit on Tuesday against the Sharks.
Some of my notes on the lineup below:
28 Claude Giroux -14 Sean Couturier -11 Travis Konecny
- Had some nice plays and opportunities last night, but were not able to sustain much pressure outside of the powerplay. It was evident Hakstol noticed the same thing when he began to play Voracek with Couturier and Giroux together at times in the game. If the team struggles I suspect the that line will become a regular starter.
23 Oskar Lindblom -19 Nolan Patrick – 93 Jakub Voracek
- Gave up early goal, with some bad luck and another turnover.
- Still not seeing what we need to see from Patrick offensively. Several times this year I’ve seen him with the opportunity to make the aggressive play and he chose to hand it off. He’s not pushing the pace, but we saw a similar mentality last year and as the season went on his aggression intensified.
25 James van Riemsdyk – 24 Mikhail Vorobyev – 17 Wayne Simmonds
- JVR takes a shot off his ankle, hobbles off on one leg – this injury is not something the Flyers wanted to see so early in the season.
- Overall another solid performance and Vorobyev continues to impress. I find myself forgetting he’s a rookie, which is pretty rare.
21 Scott Laughton – 15 Jori Lehterä – 12 Michael Raffl
- Laughton continues to play well in his role. Overall this is one of the bright spots is that the 4th line continues to do its job admirably.
9 Ivan Provorov – 53 Shayne Gostisbehere
- Still looking very solid, but had some moments that tell you they look rusty. I do wonder if the Flyers are working to separate them over the season and spread out their skillset. If Sanheim continues to progress, that could be a reality.
47 Andrew MacDonald – 8 Robert Hägg
- This pairing constantly gets seperated because it just doesn’t work well enough. Both guys do better as a complementary role and Amac can still be shaky coming back from injury. I suspect Amac and Sanheim will be a pairing more often.
6 Travis Sanheim – 26 Christian Folin
- Hakstol played Folin so he could switch to Hagg – Folin (Gudas, Hagg doesn’t work for him)
- Sanheim looks strong and offensively effective. They should elevate them and keep him with Amac. Go with the defensive pairing of Hagg – Gudas and hope they improve together.
& THE G:
37 Brian Elliott
- Overall, he was the bright spot playing a consistent game without much defensive support.
- Fantastic saves that changed the momentum at several points of the game.
[33 Calvin Pickard]
Scratches: 40 Jordan Weal (healthy), 22 Dale Weise (healthy), 3 Radko Gudas (healthy), 30 Michal Neuvirth (lower body), 49 Alex Lyon (lower body), 38 Corban Knight (upper body), 5 Sam Morin (ACL surgery).
Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports