So much happened today within the Philadelphia Flyers organization. They fired their head coach, assistant coach, hired an interim head coach, and still had to battle the Colorado Avalanche.
Chuck Fletcher felt it was ready to move on from Alain Vigneault. The Flyers needed a rebirth of some sort. Mike Yeo is the new head coach in Philadelphia. He’s hoping to establish an identity one step at a time.
A win against any NHL team represents a step in the right direction for the Flyers. Following last night, we’re looking for the forwards to lead the way. Yeo may be following Giroux’s lead, especially after moving him back to the middle.
Here’s how it all happened from the Wells Fargo Center:
Ian Laperriere appeared on the bench with Mike Yeo before the puck dropped. Yeo shook the lines up, moving Oskar Lindblom to the first and Claude Giroux back to the center.
Giroux scored the first goal of the game, sending a one-timer from the high slot. For a moment, it felt like the Philadelphia Flyers would find their way out of their losing ways. Next up was the first powerplay led by Darryl Williams instead of Michel Therrien.
Unfortunately for Williams, his first powerplay allowed a shorthanded goal. Giroux fanned on the puck, trying to keep it in the offensive zone. Logan O’Connor recovered, then set the one-timer for Erik Johnson. Both teams traded early goals, but Gabriel Landeskog broke the tie with a snipe.
The Colorado Avalanche never looked back in a period that featured seven combined goals.
Alex Newhook and Cale Makar added two powerplay goals. Newhook unloaded a close shot, deflecting off of Justin Braun‘s stick, while Makar made a chump out of the Flyers’ penalty kill, going the length of the rink untouched before scoring. Lindblom and Giroux fired back, including a powerplay goal. At the end of the first period, the Avalanche led, 4-3. Giroux did score his powerplay goal off a Nicolas Aube-Kubel penalty.
It was apparent in the first period that the Philadelphia Flyers were playing loose under Mike Yeo. They weren’t committing to a particular style. The forwards were trying things that they felt they had to improve themselves. At times, there was less of a dump and chase tactic. Furthermore, Claude Giroux drove the offense.
Valeri Nichushkin interrupted early in the second, recovering a loose puck in the slot. He blindly fired the puck on goal, extending the lead to 5-3.
Against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Flyers didn’t have any remaining fight after giving up five goals. Tonight, they continued to fight. These players played for each other and Yeo, regardless of the challenge ahead.
Cam Atkinson disappeared from the Philadelphia Flyers bench in the second but reappeared in the third.
He played through the pain and converted a scoring opportunity curated by Kevin Hayes. The two outspoken forwards from last night contributed against the Colorado Avalanche.
Within a score of tying the game, the Avalanche pulled away one more time. Nazem Kadri scored a powerplay goal with Ivan Provorov in the box. Soon after, Tyson Jost made it seven more goals surrendered by the Flyers. Keith Yandle had a defensive zone turnover that backfired in record time. In back-to-back games, Philadelphia allowed a touchdown.
Scott Laughton salvaged a shorthanded goal before the third period finished. Colorado earned the win, 7-5. In all, the Flyers organization has to be relieved that today is through, even with a loss.
Next up for the Philadelphia Flyers are the New Jersey Devils. The puck drops at 7pm on Wednesday.