The Hat Trick: Avalanche bury the Flyers

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This game was rough from the get-go. Lester Averman from D2: Mighty Ducks sums it up as well as we could imagine. “They’re bigger, stronger, faster. They got more facial hair.”

The whole facial hair thing is up for debate.

Regardless, the Colorado Avalanche were the better team Wednesday night, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-1. The game was close, and the Flyers put up one hell of a fight. The deciding factor, much like the game last week against the Arizona Coyotes, was the goaltending.

Pavel Francouz-Good

If you know how to pronounce Pavel’s last name, this makes sense. Francouz was outstanding, stopping 32 of 33 shots faced, allowing one goal in the third frame.

This marks the second time in as many weeks that the Flyers have faced a hot goaltender, dropping their game against Darcy Kuemper and the Arizona Coyotes last week by the same score. Francouz came into this game winning three of his last four games, and posting a .928 save percentage and a 2.40 goals against average.

The loss wasn’t for lack of effort, but this excuse won’t hold up the more it’s being used. There are ways to crack hot goalies, and the Flyers need to figure that out sooner rather than later.

Not-So-Special Teams

The Flyers went par for the course, killing both penalties they were tasked with defending, but couldn’t convert on their two chances on the powerplay either.

This is the fifth straight game the Flyers have went without a tally on the man advantage. It drops their conversion rate on the year to 17.9%. Something needs to be done to address that situation, mainly the guy making seven million dollars a year to play on the fourth line and soak up PP1 minutes…

The penalty kill is still doing well. Over the last ten games including this one, the Flyers have killed 23 of 27 penalties, and 74 of 87 on the year (85.06%). One side of the special teams has it figured out, while the other needs to find its footing.

Missing Something…

Yes, the Flyers were missing their leading scorer in Travis Konecny, along with Oskar Lindblom, Michael Raffl, and Philippe Myers. Could they have won this game if they were playing? Sure, but we will never know.

Rookie David Kase made his debut on the fourth line, and played well. He was a spark plug out there, nearly assisting on a goal late in the third. While his future with the Flyers is bleak, he seems to be making the most of his opportunity.

Fill-ins Christ Stewart and Mikhail Vorobyev were there. Vorobyev looked better this time around compared to his previous two stints with the Flyers, but didn’t exactly stand out. Stewart was neither a positive nor a detriment to the team.

It goes without saying, but the Flyers would much rather have Konecny, Lindblom and Raffl than Vorobyev, Kase, and Stewart.

The Flyers lose their tie-breaker now to the Carolina Hurricanes, and fall to fourth in the Metropolitan division. They’re still in the playoffs, if the season ended today, but they need to quash the injury bug if they want to keep winning games.

The next stop on the three-game Western Conference stretch for the Flyers is in Minnesota, as they take on the Wild at 7:00 P.M. EST.

Mandatory Credit – © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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