During the 2019/20 NHL regular season, the Flyers had two days off between games 22 times. Time off between games usually presents the opportunity to rest up, heal injuries, and gather yourself before the next contest. For the Flyers, it was a mixed bag. Of those 22 games, the Flyers won nine of them, while dropping 13, four of which needing overtime or a shootout.
While not necessarily concerning, it surely doesn’t instill much faith in the fanbase that the Flyers mustered only nine wins out of 22 games after a two day layoff. Sure, one could argue that they got a point in 13 of the 22 games, but four of them were loser points. The signs of encouragement come when you take a look at the performance of the team and the players during those games.
We start light, because while the Flyers hold the advantage in this stat, it isn’t by much. Over the 22 games mentioned, the Flyers tallied 57 goals for an average of 2.59 goals per game. Well below their average of 3.29 during the regular season, it’s still more than they’re giving up. Over the 22 game span, the Flyers gave up one less goal than they scored for an average of 2.55 goals per game.
It’s best to get the least encouraging stats out of the way first so we can get to the more reaffirming stats as the piece goes on.
Sticking with the trend from the last paragraph, let’s dig into the powerplay. During the 22 games being discussed, the Flyers converted on 11 of 66 powerplay opportunities. That puts their conversion rate at 16.67%, a far cry from their regular season efficiency of 20.8%. Call it cooling off, or whatever you want to call it, the powerplay wasn’t at its greatest after a longer layoff.
The penalty kill benefitted the most from some extra time off. The Flyers killed off 56 of 62 penalties during the 22 game span, good for a 90.32% rate. Their regular season conversion rate on the PK was 81.8%, a difference of 8.5%. Coincidence or not, that extra day off for the Flyers penalty kill worked wonders.
While their record may not reflect it, the Flyers had some good performances from their main contributors in the aforementioned 22 games. Sean Couturier posted 10 points, five goals and five assists. Kevin Hayes netted seven goals and added six helpers for good measure. Jakub Voracek added three goals and nine assists during the 22 games as well.
The highest scoring defenseman, Ivan Provorov, registered three goals and five assists for the Flyers. Travis Sanheim posted two goals and four assists as well. The Flyers defense has a knack for generating offense, and it surely helped them almost break even in their record.
The biggest contributors during the 22 game span in question were Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny. Giroux played in all 22 games, scoring seven goals and adding nine assists for a total of 16 points. Travis Konecny only played in 20 of the games, but totaled 21 points (7g, 14a.) The big guys showed up during those games.
It’s no secret Hart has been the main reason the Flyers are in every game so far in these playoffs. During the 22 games mentioned, he was the main reason they salvaged some of the games they won. Hart stopped 373 of the 405 shots faced, good for a .921 save percentage. He allowed 32 goals on 405 shots, putting his goals against average at 2.21. While his 7-8-3 record isn’t stellar by any means, his stats show that he was far from the reason the Flyers lost the games they did.
Reason for Hope
No, the Flyers record during the 22 game span isn’t very encouraging. It shouldn’t be. What is encouraging is the fact that Carter Hart played very well in those games, and Claude Giroux did as well. Considering Giroux’s playoff slump (if we want to call it that,) it would be nice to see him regain that form and use this break as a time to hit the hard reset button.
With contributions coming from further down the lineup, it surely should ease the burden on the top-six, Giroux included, and we should start seeing more scoring coming from the players who are meant to score.
Mandatory Credit – Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire