The Flyers just completed one of their best Novembers in franchise history. Ivan Provorov’s game winner in Montreal secured the team’s twenty-fourth point of the month, tying a franchise record set in 1990. After finishing the month of October at 5-5-1, they have vaulted into third place in the Metropolitan Division and sit in the top four in the Eastern Conference. The scariest part: we haven’t even seen their best hockey yet.
As the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town, The Flyers take to the ice Monday at 11:30 AM to prepare for the highly talented Leafs’ squad. The Leafs sit in third place in the Atlantic Division and are five points behind the Flyers with thirty. Here are a few of my observations from the press box.
Third Defensive Pair
It appears that either Shayne Gostisbehere or Phil Myers will sit again on Tuesday night. Alain Vigneault paired Myers and Robert Hagg together at the start of practice. Ghost was paired with Chris Stewart as the fourth defensive pairing. However, as the practice continued, Myers and Ghost switched partners. Ghost did practice with the second power-play unit, which leads me to believe Myers will sit.
According to Vigneault, “I haven’t made up my mind yet on which two guys are going to play on that pair. He’s [Gostisbehere] been okay. You know, like all the games that he’s played for us this year he’s worked hard he’s made some good decisions with the puck but, you know, Phil also played well and there’s no doubt that Hagg’s played well also before we took him out so we have a decision there to make. We’ve got seven healthy D’s at this time and there’s probably going to be a rotation there.”
When asked about the rotation, Vigneault stated the following:
“Yeah, well, you know Hagg sat there for a bit and I thought that was a little unfair. He had been playing well. But when we made the change, it was tough taking somebody else out of the lineup. Between the coaches and Chuck, we talked about, you know, if all is equal, and we’ve got seven healthy bodies, to maybe have a rotation with that last pair because I like the way Provy and Nisky have been playing. And I like the way Travis and Justin have been playing. So it means that there’s two spots available right.”
Between the three, Myers looked the best out there today. He had quick hands and puck movement throughout the practice and was playing good shut down defense in the one on one drills.
Prior to the start of practice, Patrick was on the ice getting some work in. He looked really solid as he continues to recover from a migraine disorder. Patrick was working on his skating and shots for the slot area. His skating looked really good and crisp. If the Flyers continue to play well, what do Vignuealt and Fletcher do when he can return?
Carter Hart gets the start tomorrow versus the Leafs. He looked really good in practice as he let up only one goal and that was to Joel Farabee on a pass that would give any seasoned vet trouble. At one point, during the initial five on one drills, Hart was laying on his stomach and still jumped up and saved a Travis Konecny shot. HE remains agile yet poised between the pipes.
Morgan Frost’s stick skills are amazing. In the one on one drills, he dangled around Hagg and put a nice backhand shot in against Brian Elliot. Frost was back on the top line and powerplay unit. Vigneault stated that in Montreal, Frost didn’t seem to be playing with the same confidence and assertiveness he previously had but he is back centering Giroux and Konecny.
The Maple Leafs travel to Philadelphia on a bit of a hot streak, having won four of their last five. Newly named head coach, Sheldon Keefe has the Leafs playing good hockey. The Flyers look to continue their November success on Tuesday at 7:0PM
Matt is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in Journalism. After College he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army where he was an Airborne Ranger and served with the famed 101st Airborne Division. RAKKASAN! When not at work you can find him coaching his son and daughter’s sports teams. Follow Matt, AKA the Delco Dope on twitter at https://twitter.com/delco_dope