Welcome back to Philadelphia, where the Flyers are much better than they are on the road. Any record search will tell you that the Flyers hold the edge over their opponents at the Wells Fargo Center. That same search will tell you how dreadful they’ve been on the road as well.
After going 1-4-1 on their holiday road-trip, the Flyers return home where they are a combined 13-2-4 on the season. Compared to their road record, 9-13-2, the Flyers have a safe haven in Philadelphia. The Flyers now embark on a ten game stretch where seven of those games are at home. It’s time to turn the ship around.
The Flyers begin this trek with a home game against the Washington Capitals Wednesday night. They then welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Boston comes to town next Monday, and the Flyers travel to St. Louis next Wednesday to take on the defending Stanley Cup champions.
After their visit to the Gateway to the West, the Flyers return home to take on the Montreal Canadiens on the 16th, followed by the Kings on the 18th and the dreaded Penguins three days later.
The Flyers have a week break between games against the Penguins, returning to action against Pittsburgh on the last day of January, in the Steel City. The Flyers go back to Philly for one game against the Avalanche on the first of February, then travel to Motown to take on the Red Wings on the third of February
The Encouraging Special Teams
The Flyers have been playing great at home. The record shows, of course, but the stats behind the record tell the real story.
The Flyers special teams have been exponentially better at home than on the road. The powerplay has converted 17 of 70 chances this season, good for 24.29%. Their season’s average is 19.31%, drug down by an away conversion rate of 14.67% on 75 attempts.
The penalty kill has performed much to the same tune. They have killed off 49 of 57 penalties at home, good for an 85.96% conversion rate. Their overall penalty kill percentage on the year is 81.10%, offset by a unit who is only killing 77.14% of their penalties on the road.
Needless to say, seven of the next ten games being at home is a blessing for the Flyers. If they maintain these numbers, they can win a majority of these games and get back on track to where they were in late 2019.
The Goaltending Disparity
In an article by Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sam details the disparity between the play at home and on the road. Diving even further into that discussion, the goalies are a big driving force in that play.
Elliott’s play, regardless of being home or away, has been a bit sporadic. Regardless, the disparity between home and away isn’t a huge difference.
While starting at home, Elliott has stopped 126 of 140 shots sent his way, good for an even .900 save percentage. His 14 goals allowed as a starter puts him at a 2.74 goals against. This all comes with five starts.
Away from Philadelphia, Elliott has started 12 games. In those 12 games, he’s stopped 325 of 364 shots faced, good for a .892 save percentage. Allowing 39 goals, that puts his goals against average at 3.57. Not a giant difference, but a difference nonetheless.
Carter Hart is a completely different story. The disparity between his home and away numbers is mind-boggling, to say the least.
On the road, Hart has been downright atrocious. In 12 starts on the road, he’s stopped only 229 of 271 shots, allowing 42 goals. That puts his save percentage at a dreadful .845% and his goals against at a horrid 4.23 average.
In his 14 starts at the Wells Fargo Center, Hart has stopped 372 of 392 shots. That puts his save percentage at an astounding .947. He’s allowed 21 goals in his 14 starts at home, good for a 1.49 goals against average. Dr. Henry Jekyll, meet Mr. Edward Hyde.
What’s the Point?
The point is simple: the Flyers play much better at home than they do on the road. The stats show it, we all know it. The writing is on the wall. While the road-trip proved costly, it didn’t break the Flyers yet.
Having seven of the next ten games at home could really help get the Flyers back on track. If they can take advantage of some home cooking, it could change the tune some Flyers fans have been singing for the first week of 2020.
Mandatory Credit – Alex McIntyre