“The Flyers Five” is a new weekly series on Philly Sports Network, touching on five key observations from the week in Philadelphia Flyers hockey. This week, the Flyers strung together a successful string of games. Unfortunately, the season-ending injury of Sam Morin placed a damper on things.
SAM MORIN INJURY
Perhaps the most dramatic Flyers news this week is Sam Morin’s injury. This is the second time Morin tore his ACL, in the same knee, within 18 months. The injury happened Thursday, November 7th during the Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ 4-2 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The defenceman was sent to the Philadelphia AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint. He is in his second of a three year $700,000 contract.
Hence his injury, Morin is expected to miss the remainder of the season and to be put on the Flyers’ long-term injury list. With this move, the Flyers gain $700,000 of cap relief. This speculated rumors of Morin’s career in the NHL coming to an end.
Time to Move on From Jakub Voracek?
There are a few names that come to mind when thinking of the Flyers. Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk, and Jakub Voracek are some of the best known. However, is it time for the Flyers to move on from #93?
Fans have not been happy with Jakub Voracek’s performance in the last few games, to say the least.
Philadelphia fans have also expressed how infuriating it can be to watch him play, as he can dominate one period and then be completely invisible in the next. However, you can’t argue stats. Voracek ranked third in the team in scoring with 20 goals and 48 assists (66 points total) in the 78 games played last season. Not to mention that the contract is a hefty one. Voracek signed his 8-year $66 million contract in 2016. This contract means if Fletcher did decide to move him, he won’t be getting equal value. All in all, Voracek has been a great asset to the Flyers. He has undeniable talent and finesse. It’s just time to weigh out the pros and cons.
Between poor puck handling, not paying attention during games and downright not shooting, Voracek has looked like a mess lately. Is it time to move him off the top nine, or has his time in Philly come to an end?
STREAKS, STATS, AND RANKINGS
The Flyers are currently ranked fourth in the Metropolitan Division. Ranking seventh in the Eastern Conference with 20 points, they trail Montreal and Pittsburgh only by a point. This puts them at 14th in the league as well as placing them in the first wild card spot.
The Flyers have not lost a game this week, giving them a three-game winning streak.
Following the Saturday Night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Flyers are 9-5-2. Tune in tonight at 7:00 PM against the Boston Bruins to see if this three-game winning streak becomes four.
The Flyers have been loving overtime this season and for good reason. Of their 16 games played this season, Philadelphia has gone into overtime five times and won three of them. Two of those five games were won this week.
During the Thursday, November 7th match against the Montreal Canadians, the Canadians tied up the game 2-2 in the first four minutes of the 3rd period. This prompted the game to go into overtime… for 55 seconds until Couturier scored again, bringing home a victory for Philadelphia.
Last night versus the Maple Leafs the Flyers had a strong first period, but not strong enough to hold the Leafs back. Scoring one goal in the second and one in the third, Toronto tied the game 2-2 again, pushing the game into overtime, ultimately leading to a victory for the orange and black in a shootout thanks to Giroux and Couturier.
GOALIES ON FIRE
There is no denying how amazing both Carter Hart and Brian Elliott have been in the net this season. Carter Hart, who was in the goal for the game versus the Carolina Hurricanes, stopped 33 shots for the Flyers’ 4-1 victory. Regardless of his “slump,” Hart got right on the ice on Tuesday and ran that game. AV commented “He gave us a chance to start playing. He played a real sound game where you can tell he was in control.”
Hart was in the goal Friday night too, for the game against the Montreal Canadiens. Even when Philadelphia was sloppy in their zone, Hart took control of the game once again, helping the Flyers to victory over his goaltending idol, Carey Price.
In last night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brian Elliot was ready to show the blue and white just what he was made of, despite fans’ mixed opinions on starting him instead of Hart. Although the Flyer’s defense wasn’t playing their best, Moose was able to keep them either in the lead or tied.
The two goalies have similar stats now. Carter Hart now has five wins and three losses out of the 10 games he’s played (9 of which he started) with a GAA of 2.82. Brian Elliot also has some impressive stats, with four wins and two losses out of the nine games he’s played (7 of which he started) with a GAA of 2.88. If the Flyers could just get their defense on track, fans would have nothing to worry about. These goalies are solid.