The Flyers are keeping the momentum high through their home stand to kick off the 2021-22 season Wednesday night with a 6-3 win against the Bruins. With a national broadcast on TNT and an electric Wells Fargo Center, many viewed last night’s showdown as the team’s first ‘real’ test of the young season. Well, the Flyers didn’t ace it, but they are definitely worthy of making the honor roll.
The Bruins had an unusually slow start to their season — having 10-days off between their final preseason game and season opener, followed by another four days off before heading to Philadelphia for yesterday’s matchup. That could’ve caused a slow start for Boston; perfection line or not, it takes time for players to get their legs under them.
Hot and cold
While this was the case in the opening moments, it seemed both teams struggled to get anything moving on either end of the ice. Soon enough, turnovers became the issue for the Flyers and it was something the Bruins immediately tried to capitalize on. Thankfully, the exact opposite happened and Cam Atkinson found the back of the net to give his team the first lead of the game. This was Atkinson’s second goal as a Flyer. In the young season, it looks like Atkinson is all settled in with his new teammates.
Speaking of settling in, someone who continues to look lost on just about every shift is Nicholas Aube-Kubel. A poor turnover behind his own net created a prime opportunity for Karson Kuhlman and the Bruins to tie things up. Aube-Kubel is a player you want to root for — he’s a young, physical player with a ton of potential to elevate the bottom-six, but after three games of very similar play, you begin to wonder how much longer it’ll be until head coach Alain Vigneault takes a look at other options.
Help coming from left and right
Scott Laughton has had his fair share of moments throughout this opening week where it seemed as though he was getting that first goal of the season. It didn’t even take two minutes into the second period to finally pot one. James van Riemsdyk — playing in his 800th career NHL game, and Keith Yandle — the man who just keeps tacking on points left and right, were both credited with assists.
A goal doesn’t always have to be pretty — it just has to count.
Farabee, Atkinson and Derick Brassard have been one heck of a line so far — and you never know what’s going to happen once you get a shot off. Credit Atkinson with his second goal of the night and giving the Flyers the lead once more.
You want to talk about a hot streak? I’ll do you one better — the Flyers currently have two. Joel Farabee and Travis Konecny have now scored in every game this season. Call it unrealistic if you want to, but both are on pace for 82-goal seasons. Ha, just kidding — but so far, this is exactly what the Flyers needed to see from both forwards. It’s even better to know Farabee’s goal came on the power play to give his team the lead and Konecny’s added some much-needed insurance in the third period.
Just enough from Jones
Martin Jones made his season debut tonight and did just enough to help his team to a win. He didn’t have to be show stopping or make highlight reel-worthy saves — he just had to do enough to give the Flyers a chance. Without playing since Oct. 8, Jones was sturdy, calm and sure of his game. For a backup goaltender, that’s all you can ask for. Not to mention, when the team in front of you is scoring, that’s all you need to pull out a win.
The Flyers will wrap up their four-game home stand Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Panthers.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire