Takeaways From the First Game of the Mike Yeo Era

Flyers' Mike Yeo
PHILADELPHIA, PA – FEBRUARY 10: Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Mike Yeo looks on during the game between the Florida Panthers and the Philadelphia Flyers on February 10, 2020 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

It wasn’t the ending Mike Yeo hoped for in his first game as the interim Head Coach of the Philadelphia Flyers however it wasn’t a complete catastrophe either. There are some good things to have come out of Monday night’s 7-5 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Prior to the game, my streak of being wrong when it comes to the Flyers continued. I expected a boring game with the Avs winning it 5-2.

O’ Captain, My Captain

There are three things in life you can count on. Death, taxes, and some Flyers fans saying Claude Giroux is a horrible captain. Personally, I don’t know exactly why people think he is a terrible leader. I’d like to know where they get their information. Giroux is a lead-by-example guy and not a big rah-rah guy. He is also quietly one of the greatest Flyers in history. But that still isn’t enough. Before the game, Giroux was very candid about the team.

Right now, you look at our group, and we don’t have an identity. We get a goal scored on us, and we kind of stop playing. We need to find our confidence within this group. We need to believe that even if a team scores the first goal that we just have to keep playing our game. We have to believe in our game and that our style and how we play as a team is going to get us the win. I think when we get that mindset and play as a team, it is going to give us the confidence to play our game.

Claude Giroux 12/6

Last night the Captain led the charge. After saying that pregame quote, he came out and wanted to forge that identity with hard nose play. There was a different look as well as Giroux was back at center with Morgan Frost and James Van Riemsdyk on the wings. The chemistry between G and Frost seemed evident. Frost was one of the best Flyers on the ice, finding G for the first goal of the game. Frost to Giroux, I can get used to it.

Giroux finished the night with two goals, one on the powerplay, which looked much better. That powerplay goal tied him for the all-time most Flyers playoff points with the legendary Bobby Clarke with 333 points.

The Flyers didn’t Fold

Afte Giroux started the scoring, the Avalanche poured in four first-period goals. One short-handed goal, and then this one:

Makar made the Flyers, more specifically Ivan Provorov, look foolish. What hurts the most is that Makar was taken with the fourth pick in the 2017 draft. Two picks after Nolan Patrick.

Back to the Flyers. They didn’t fold as they did the previous night. The Flyers fought back and didn’t stop playing. Yeo made another lineup move, putting Oskar Lindblom on a line with Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny. You will remember this line was dominating two years ago, just before Oskar’s diagnosis. The change was the spark Lindblom needed as he scored his first of the season.

After Giroux’s second, the Flyers trailed 4-3. The Ave scored three more, and the Flyers netted two. Cam Atkinson and Scott Laughton both scored for the Flyers.

Puck Control

It was a different style of play for the Flyers. They controlled the puck more, and Scott Hartnell stated that Yeo put emphasis on puck control. Which is good considering the forecheck was not working. This style of play allows the players to be more creative and seems to benefit players like Frost.

There were some positives from last night, and Yeo will get more chances to show what he can do after he leads the Flyers in a practice or two. Next up is the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night, where they will end the losing streak.