It took just two games for Flyers fans to embrace this young team. Gone are the slow starts, gone are excuses, gone is a team that skates flat-footed. A lot of credit has to be given to Alain Vigneault and his experienced coaching staff, as well as Carter Hart and team defense.
Vigneault preached a 5 man defensive unit the day he was hired. After last night’s home opener, he made true to that promise. The Flyers played well defensively in the second and third periods of play in particular. They limited the Devils to just 15 shots in the second and third periods combined, but the Flyers team defense limited prime scoring chances, as well. Of course, with a lone exception on a 5-on-3 man advantage when Carter Hart made a miraculous glove save in the second period that changed the whole complexion of the game. Just look how hockey is fun again in Philly:
“It’s exciting. I thought G made a good play on the faceoff, he won the faceoff and there was a scrum and I just shot at the net. It’s nice to get it out of the way early. There is nothing worse than trying to score your first one and you are about 10 games in. I’m happy it was the home opener.”
Hayes continued on the atmosphere, “It was awesome. The place was buzzing. It was electric in there. It’s nice to have my mom and dad and some family and friends here. They are probably more excited than I am about the goal to be honest, but that place was electric tonight. As long as we keep winning, I think it will be the same way.”
“It was unbelievable. Especially with me and Hayes in the box there, we we’re pretty nervous. 5-on-3 for two minutes and he made some big saves, especially that one. It was 1-0 at that point, really a game-changer there.”
Couts continues, “So far, it’s little adjustments. We’re doing the right things. We’re dedicated. We’re in the lanes. Hartsy’s making some big saves. He bailed us out a few times. That always helps. On the power play, I think we still can be better. But, we’re getting chances. We’re getting goals. So far, it’s been good.
“Anytime you have a milestone it is definitely pretty cool. But I think it is huge that we came out so hard in our home opener. The fans were really getting into it. We gave them something to cheer about, so I think that was a huge effort by us tonight to come out so hard.”
The Flyers locker room is a breath of fresh air from years past. The players are funny, giddy, and are just feeling good. Fletcher gets an “A” for uniting this locker room with key off-season additions. Let’s hope this ride continues this Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports