Robert Hagg and Justin Braun
Robert Hagg: C
Alright, where’s my #BobbyHaggHive at?
Coming into the winning streak, Hagg was starting to catch fire. The Swedish d-man scored in back-to-back games and had a +13 rating. During the streak, Hagg slowed down a bit offensively. In the nine games played, he picked up two assists and was only a +1, which was a bit unusual compared to his season. However, he does as much as a coach would want out of a bottom-pairing defenseman. Constantly laying grueling hits and taking key guys out of the play, Hagg does serve his role well.
Justin Braun: C-
To wrap things up, we end with the other defensive pick-up from Chuck Fletcher this offseason.
Justin Braun had a three-assist night in game three of the nine-game winning streak but did not contribute much else. Playing in eight of the nine games, Braun was virtually invisible on the ice most of the time. He serves his role well and has been a staple veteran for Philly so far this season. However, during the winning streak, he didn’t do much in comparison to the young guys around him.
The Flyers’ defensemen have been crucial to their season success. Their 44 total goals as a unit leads the NHL in goals by defensemen, but they’re not shortcutting playing defense, either. During the hot streak, the blueliners were contributing to holding their opposition to a mere 1.90 goals per game, which showcases their sixth-best 2.77 GAA on the season. Their young guns have been leading the way all season…
…but it would be ignorant to completely neglect the veteran presence the team has had this season.
With Phil Myers expected to be out, Shayne Gostibehere is expected to fill in full-time until Myers is back. Ghost played well in Tuesday’s loss to the Bruins and is a great option to have as a seventh d-man.
The status of this season is still unknown. COVID-19 is a very serious, and very scary, virus right now, and that everyone’s health needs to come first. For the sake of Philadelphia sports though, if these six (or seven, including Ghost) guys keep playing as they have been, they’ll be tough to beat in the playoffs.
Avid Philly fan and future educator
Student at Stockton University