Everyone remain calm! Nolan Patrick is alive and well. In fact, he’s playing what is arguably his best hockey of the season. Patrick, who is only 20 years old and is in his second pro season, is just beginning to scratch the surface. A lot of people have used the word “bust” of late when talking about the kid from Winnipeg. It’s funny how things can change in just a little less than a week.
The Flyers head into the bye week on a three-game win streak that has boosted the team’s confidence and most importantly helped them climb out of last place in the Metropolitan Division. Carter Hart, James van Riemsdyk, and of course Nolan Patrick played a huge part in helping the Flyers reel off the three straight wins.
On Monday night, Patrick had what was arguably his best game of the season; helping the Flyers defeat the Wild 7-4.
He finished the night with two goals and two assists, finishing with a four-point night. His second goal was arguably the best he’s scored all season. After Travis Sanheim blasted a shot from the blue line wide, Patrick was there in front of the net ready for the carom off the boards. Not only did Patrick put it past Dubnyk to give the Flyers a 4-3 lead, but he did it with a between the legs shot.
Safe to say this was quite a confidence booster for Patrick who had tallied no points in his previous nine games. He admitted after practice Tuesday that getting those two goals on Monday night lifted a weight off of him.
“Yeah, obviously it’s a nice to get out of a slump. It obviously weighs on you a bit mentally when you go through a slump like that; so obviously, it feels good and to get a win, it’s a good feeling”.
On Wednesday night, Patrick failed to crack the score sheet but still looked confident in his 13:35 on the ice. He finished the night with a total of three shots on goal and an even plus/minus rating.
The highly anticipated forward was right back at it on Monday night though, as he helped the Flyers reel off their third straight win by defeating the Canadiens by a final score of 5-2. He finished with a pair of goals on the night, including one that had Flyers fans looking on in awe.
With the Flyers up 3-1 a little less than midway through the 3rd, Patrick received a pass from Voracek before dancing around Canadiens RW Brendan Gallagher and firing a shot past Antti Niemi to give the Flyers a 4-1 lead.
Just a few minutes before that, Patrick finished off a 2 on 1 after receiving a pass from Wayne Simmonds to make it 3-1.
Through the first three months of last season, Patrick tallied a total of only seven points (2 goals, 5 assists,) before putting up 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in the final four months of the 2017-2018 season.
This year, Patrick had only eleven points through the first three months of the season (5 goals, 6 assists). He already has a total of six points in the month of January through eight games played (4 goals, 2 assists).
If your waiting for Nolan Patrick to breakout, look no further than right in front of you. If he keeps up this kind of play; he is poised for a big second half.
So don’t give up on the guy they call “Patty” just yet. He’s still getting his feet wet and learning the game. A trade just wouldn’t make sense. To give up on someone who we know has so much more to give this early would be flat-out silly.
The Flyers are in the midst of the bye week/all-star break, as they don’t resume play until Monday, January 28th when they take on the Central Division-leading Winnipeg Jets. They are however slated to hold a practice on Sunday at the Skate Zone in Voorhees.
As always, Let’s Go Flyers!
Photo credit: Alex McIntyre