Hurricanes @ Flyers – January 3, 2019
The 2018-2019 Philadelphia Flyers season has been no walk in the park and the season is still leaving many fans scratching their heads as to what went wrong that has them constantly rheeling. The overall theme of this season can be summed up with one word, unprepared. Now with new leadership, the Flyers come back home from an unsuccessful road trip to get redemption on the Carolina Hurricanes. The Flyers will look for best the Hurricanes who just defeated the Flyers 3-1 on new years eve. Overall, the Flyers are still plagued with a lot of the same problems that has led to their mediocre season. However, the penalty kill has been mightily improved from the beginning of the season and the addition of Rick Wilson does seem to mitigate the mistakes coming from the defense. Having said that, the team has not worked together like a team for longer than 25% of the game it makes it very difficult to win when everyone doesn’t play at the same pace.
The first period was uneventful to start as the teams were trading some chances back and forth. In the first half of the first period, Michal Neuvirth was saved by the post and the Flyers managed to keep the game even at 0-0. While Neuvirth played well in the in the first period he did give up some juicy rebounds that were in positions for a scoring opportunity. At the 13 minute market, the 4th line of Travis Konecny, Phil Varone, and Dale Weise put up the Flyers best opportunities with several chance in tight. After that point the Flyers began to shoot the puck more and dominated the scoring opportunities at the end of the period.
The second period was not a good one for the Flyers. They came out with plenty of energy, but the Hurricanes scored early from the right side hash-marks. The Flyers continued to pursue the puck deep in the Hurricanes zon. Then, after a great chance in front for Wayne Simmonds at the side of the net, he takes a questionably tripping penalty following up the play. It was an unfortunate call, but the Hurricanes made the Flyers pay and scored on the power play from the same angle as the first goal. At this point the Flyers found themselves down 2-0 within the first half of the second period and yet they only submitted 15 shots through 30 minutes. In the final 4 minutes of the period Robert Hagg took a double minor penalty. At this point the loudest cheering in the stadium is “Refs you suck” as they grow restless with the Flyers inability to stay out of the box or capitalize on their scoring opportunities.
The Flyers showed heart early on in the third period with several decent chances on Mrazek. As clocked ticked down, the game continued to move in Carolina’s favor as they went up 4 to 0 with 15 minutes left in the period. A simple shot from the angle again and the Flyers found themselves down found late in the game. However, This seemed to be the turning point of the game for The Flyers. They continued to press and received several 2 on 1 chances that lead to power plays and this time the lamp started to light up the night. First a power play goal by Wayne Simmonds in close. A couple of minutes later another goal created by Claude Giroux and a redirect from Sean Couturier from the slot. At this point it was 4-2 Hurricanes, but the Flyers had all of the momentum. The Flyers continued to pressure and eventually lead to another power play goal. This time it was James Van Riemsdyk finishing on a shot by Shayne Gostisbehere. Suddenly it was 4-3 and the crowd was in the game. The Flyers were flying up and down the ice in a way that they have not on this particular game. For a moment it felt like they could pull off the comeback. But when the pressing continued, so did the transitional turnovers. While the Flyers had the Canes hemmed in their own zone they got caught pressing and ended up giving up a 3 on 1 that Hurricanes converted on and made the game 5-3. After that goal a wave of fans got out of their seats and left the stadium. The momentum was lost. From there the Flyers continued to fight, but were not able to even up the score with only 2 minutes left. Once again the Flyers fell short of a comeback.
The Philadelphia Flyers continue to struggle and frustrate the fans, but there is still time for things to change and momentum to build. They will look to get things turned around and break their losing streak on Saturday January 5th against the Calgary Flames. This will be a big test for the team, but another chance for redemption from their previous meeting.
21 Michael Raffl – 28 Claude Giroux – 23 Oskar Lindblom
21 Scott Laughton – 14 Sean Couturier – 93 Jakub Voracek
25 James van Riemsdyk – 40 Jordan Weal – 17 Wayne Simmonds
22 Dale Weise – 44 Phil Varone – 11 Travis Konecny
9 Ivan Provorov – 6 Travis Sanheim
53 Shayne Gostisbehere – 3 Radko Gudas
8 Robert Hägg – 26 Christian Folin
30 Michal Neuvirth / 79 Carter Hart
Scratches: 15 Jori Lehterä (healthy), 19 Nolan Patrick (upper body), 47 Andrew MacDonald (healthy), 41 Anthony Stolarz (IR, lower body), 37 Brian Elliott (IR, lower body), 10 Corban Knight (IR, collarbone), 5 Sam Morin (ACL surgery).
23 Brock McGinn – 20 Sebastian Aho- 86 Teuvo Teräväinen
48 Jordan Martinook – 71 Lucas Wallmark – 14 Justin Williams
37 Andrei Svechnikov – 49 Victor Rask – 79 Micheal Ferland
13 Warren Foegele – 64 Clark Bishop – 8 Saku Mäenalanen
74 Jaccob Slavin – 22 Brett Pesce
44 Calvin de Haan – 27 Justin Faulk
57 Trevor van Riemsdyk – 19 Dougie Hamilton
34 Petr Mrazek / 35 Curtis McElhinney
Scratches: 11 Jordan Staal (upper body, day-to-day), 4 Haydn Fleury (day-to-day, Dec. 13 concussion).
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports