Under the Flyers Microscope: German Rubtsov vs WBS Penguins

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PROSPECT COVERAGE HAS NEVER BEEN AS SOUGHT AFTER AS IT IS RIGHT NOW. PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE OF HOCKEY LOOKS LIKE AND PHILLY SPORTS NETWORK IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING THAT INFORMATION. PROSPECT PROFILES AND GAME RECAPS ARE FANTASTIC BUT DO NOT NECESSARILY PAINT A PICTURE THAT SHOWS A PLAYER’S DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRESSION TOWARDS ACCOMPLISHING THEIR GOAL OF PLAYING IN THE NHL. “UNDER THE MICROSCOPE” IS A NEW WEEKLY FEATURE WHERE WE WILL FOCUS IN ON A SPECIFIC PROSPECT WITHIN THE PHILADELPHIA FLYERS ORGANIZATION AND ANALYZE HIS PERFORMANCE IN A PARTICULAR GAME OR SET OF GAMES.

Heading into his rookie season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, German Rubtsov transformed into a bit of a forgotten asset in the Flyers deep pool of prospects. This transcendence into irrelevance was no fault of his own; however, when your farm system consists of players such as Carter Hart and Morgan Frost, other youngsters have to do a little more to stand out.

Five games into the regular season, Rubtsov is clearly showing that he’s hungry to show the organization that dedicated a first round pick to him that they made the correct choice. There is an apparent focus on his offensive game, which was Rubtsov’s primary area in need of improvement. The 20-year-old’s offensive potential happened to be on full display in the game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday night.

Saturday 10/20: Phantoms 6, Penguins 3

After suffering a defeat at the hands of the Penguins Friday night on home ice, the Phantoms exacted their revenge on Saturday. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton jumped out to an early lead, but Lehigh Valley was quick to respond, scoring six out of the next seven goals.

Two of those six lamp-lighters belonged to none-other than German Rubtsov. With his team down 2-1 in the second period, Rubtsov skated into the Penguins zone, found some open space, and let off an accurate shot that found the back of the net. Yes, Taylor Leier and T.J. Brennan provided assists, but all the credit for the game-tying goal needs to go to Rubtsov.

With the contest tied at three-a-piece in the final minute of the second, Rubtsov put the Phantoms ahead with another goal. The team, as we know, never looked back. This time, Rubtsov demonstrated great awareness, following the play, collecting a rebound, and getting the puck in the net. Connor Bunnaman registered the original shot that bounced into the front of the net. Rubstov placed himself in a perfect place to deliver a laser past Anthony Peters.

When the game was all said and done, the Phantoms walked away with an impressive six-to-three victory. Rubtsov, now with three goals on the year, scored two goals on two shots.

Overall Thoughts

The AHL season is still very young. However, there is no prospect on the Phantoms standing out more than German Rubtsov. It is clear that he took the criticisms steered towards him seriously. He is being much more aggressive in the offensive zone which is leading to more quality scoring opportunities.

There, of course, is still room for improvement. Rubtsov is currently averaging two shots a game to this point. Last night, those two shots found the back of the net. Though easier said than done, Rubtsov will benefit from generating more shots on net. He has the accuracy so a higher volume shots should translate into a positive.

German Rubstov was the Phantoms most valuable player in the win against the Penguins. He is no longer a forgotten member of the Flyers farm system. He is undoubtedly someone everybody should keep an eye on.

 

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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