Flyers ravaged by Sharks in 8-2 homecoming loss

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PHILADELPHIA FLYERS VS.

SAN JOSE SHARKS

OCTOBER 9TH, 2018 – 7:00PM EST

The stage was set for a fun filled night at the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia had their eyes set on hockey without the distraction of any other prominent sporting events going on and it was the Orange and Blacks time to shine. That… well, that just didn’t happen. At the start of a season that has been regarded as the start of the Flyers ascent back to relevance, many casual fans seem ready to make the jump into more passionate territory. With young studs coming up through the ranks and veteran stars playing at the top of their game there was no better time than their home opener to come out and show everyone that their patience hasn’t been for nothing. Instead, they fell flat on their face. New mascot and internet sensation Gritty made an incredible entrance and Flyers faithful showed up in full force for the start of the game. By the end of the second period, only small pockets of the most loyal fans remained. Brian Elliott was thrown to the dogs and forced to stay in the game with new backup Calvin Pickard likely starting on Wednesday. The Flyers defense did absolutely nothing to help their net minder on a night that Elliott just clearly wasn’t in his element. Overall, it was an embarrassing defeat the hands of an opponent that had just been handily beaten 4-0 by the lowly Islanders the night before. The 8-2 defeat brought the Flyers to just 1-2-0 on the season and with plenty of questions left to be answered.

Takeaways:

PROS:

Gritty is a superstar.

The offense was able to get some quality chances but just couldn’t solve Aaron Dell.

The upgrades at the Wells Fargo Center are kinda cool…

CONS:

The defense remained a glaring issue. They look more like a ECHL squad than one that looks even remotely like they belong on the NHL stage. Missing assignments, zero to no chemistry, it’s just an absolute mess right now.

The offense wasn’t much better, failing to convert on the chances they had and still being plagued by that pass-first mentality that’s killed them for so many years.

Brian Elliott is either an amazing goaltender or should be no where near an ice surface. There’s no in between. Tuesday, it was the latter. Not everything was on him, he was left out to dry more times than I can count, but he never gave his offense the chance to catch their breathe with a clutch save in a big moment.

Nothing is fine, everything is bad. Except Gritty.

Lineup:

Claude Giroux — Sean Couturier — Jakub Voracek

Oskar Lindblom — Nolan Patrick — Travis Konecny

Jordan Weal — Mikhail Vorobyev — Wayne Simmonds

Scott Laughton — Jori Lehtera — Michael Raffl

Ivan Provorov — Shayne Gostisbehere

Robert Hagg — Andrew MacDonald

Travis Sanheim — Radko Gudas

Brian Elliott

Calvin Pickard

1st Period

The Flyers came out swinging against a tired San Jose Sharks team. They had multiple odd man rushes that they couldn’t cash in on early. Just 3 minutes into the game they had the Sharks pinned in their own zone but didn’t pull the trigger on a wide open net, and like so many other times before the puck ended up going the other way and quickly finding twine behind Brian Elliott by way of Logan Couture. Just 11 short seconds later Joe Pavelski fired a rebound into the net to completely deflate the Philadelphia offense early. The rest of the period was an onslaught save for one beautiful penalty kill on the part of the Flyers where they had multiple shorthanded opportunities but couldn’t cash in. Joe Pavelski and Evander Kane both scored to make it 4-0 at the end of the first with the Sharks holding a 23-11 shot advantage.

2nd Period

Philadelphia came out with some speed to start the period and it finally paid off when Gostisbehere fired a slapshot passed a fumbling Aaron Dell to make the game 4-1. What followed was a ping-pong game of penalties for both teams that ended with Radko Gudas taking an interference call and Evander Kane cashing in on the opportunity just seconds after Gudas came out of the box to make it 5-1.

3rd Period

By this point much of the Wells Fargo center had cleared out, but after 3 more goals from the Sharks (Hertl, Meier and Goodrow) less than 1000 people had to have been left in their newly installed upgraded seats. Wayne Simmonds managed to pot a garbage time powerplay goal with 1:31 remaining to make it 8-2 and keep this from being the Flyers worst home opening loss of their entire history.

…in case you thought i was exaggerating. On to the next one.

 

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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