The Philadelphia Flyers & Ottawa Senators met for the third and final time Saturday night. In what was anticipated to be another hard-nosed, physical game, the Flyers snuck out a shootout win, taking the contest 5-4.
Many thought there would be fists flying, avenging the loss of TK for a handful of games and Scott Laughton as well. No fights, a few scrums, and a plethora of penalties later, the bad blood will have to wait for another year.
The Flyers were short Matt Niskanen, who was a last second scratch due to an apparent flu virus. Nicolas Aube-Kubel drove play like a man who wants to stay up in the NHL. Goal streaks continued, hot streaks on the road, and plenty more, so let’s dive into it.
JvR. R stands for “Rolling”
James van Riemsdyk began the year posting no points through seven games. He had eight points in his first 20 games. In the last 16 games, he has 12 points. He has six goals in his last five games. Suffice to say, JvR has found his groove.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but JvR is surely capable of stretches like this, and the team benefits from him finding the back of the net. We all know the Flyers have won the last three games. In those three games, JvR has four points, all goals.
The team doesn’t go as JvR goes, but JvR sure seems to go as the team goes. It could be a lot worse, again.
Blown Leads, Again
Earlier in the season, the Flyers had a knack for allowing lesser teams to crawl back into games. The Flyers didn’t exactly come roaring out of the gates, but they had a 2-0 lead early on in the second period. Ottawa came back with three goals in a matter of 12 minutes in the second period, taking a 3-2 lead. Jakub Voracek scored with around a minute left in the second to tie it up heading into the third.
The Flyers scored about a minute in again, but blew that lead about nine minutes later when Ennis scored his second for Ottawa. It’s not something to lose sleep over. However, it would be great if the Flyers could stomp on the neck of lesser competition without letting them claw back into games.
Earlier in the year, the Flyers were blowing multiple leads against Toronto, the Islanders, Boston, even Montreal. It was cause for concern then due to the frequency in which it was happening. This, being an isolated incident, shouldn’t cause much concern.
Decision Time for Flyers
So the Flyers are now presented with a problem. Joel Farabee will return from his three-game suspension Monday night against the New York Rangers. The Flyers will have to likely decide between Andy Andreoff and Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and who they want to keep up.
Andreoff hasn’t done much with the Flyers this year. He’s played nine games and registered one assist on the year. Aube-Kubel has only been up four games, and has one assist as well. While Andreoff is the steady option, Aube-Kubel had a phenomenal game against the Senators.
He was driving plays, playing hard on the puck and fighting for every inch. His stretch pass set up JvR’s second goal of the game, and it was a beauty.
Aube-Kubel is adjusting to the pace of the NHL quite nicely, and seems to only be getting better with more NHL action. The points will come, not as plentiful as they would in the AHL, but eventually they will. He’s also tasked with a bottom six role, which isn’t put out every night with the intent of registering a boat-load of points. Regardless, he’s finding his stride, and could keep getting better if given the opportunity.
The Flyers snag two points in a tight race for third place in the Metropolitan division. Nipping at the heels of Pittsburgh and the Islanders, the Flyers come back to Philadelphia for a Monday night showdown with the New York Rangers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. EST at the Wells Fargo Center.
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