Soon after the NHL All-Star Weekend, the Philadelphia Flyers resumed their wretched season.
This week features two losses to the Detroit Red Wings, the confirmation of the season’s end for Sean Couturier, and lineup omissions such as Rasmus Ristolainen and Derick Brassard. Nothing works when the Flyers give up ten goals in two games.
The most interesting note about hockey in Philadelphia was scouting the Colorado Avalanche versus the Tampa Bay Lightning to coordinate a trade deal to send Claude Giroux before the deadline. Elliotte Friedman mentioned he heard the Edmonton Oilers offer a fifth-round pick for Martin Jones, but the Flyers wanted more. Nonetheless, Philadelphia are sellers at the deadline, and this is going to be a long process to get back on track, despite what Chuck Fletcher and Dave Scott say about an “agressive retool.” Here’s the latest effort on the road against the Red Wings:
A puck deflected into Travis Konecny’s face early in the first period. He would skate to the bench and return in the period.
Tyler Bertuzzi added insult to injury, getting away with interference on Kevin Connauton. Robby Fabbri passed to Bertuzzi, who had a little more space than the original coverage allowed. Bertuzzi, on the crease, finished the scoring play at 14:24.
Zack MacEwen had a physical shift to note. He put a puck on Thomas Greiss’ pad to generate a rebound, but Connor Bunnaman couldn’t get it. MacEwen finished with a good hit on Fabbri. His style of play did generate energy for the Philadelphia Flyers but didn’t translate on the scoreboard.
Greiss made steady saves on Claude Giroux and Oskar Lindblom. Michael Rasmussen rang the puck off the goal post at the other end. Towards the end of the period, Hart stepped up to make an incredible save on Vladislav Namestnikov on a breakaway. Big plays by Hart and MacEwen on defense kept the Flyers within one at the end of the period. The Detroit Red Wings led, 1-0.
If the Philadelphia Flyers forwards would raise the puck, they could have taken advantage of Greiss in the second period. They began on the powerplay, but James van Riemsdyk was denied by a leg pad. Bunnaman had a critical chance too, but Greiss made another save.
Midway through the period, Travis Sanheim seemed tripped up by Namestnikov, but there wasn’t a call. In transition, Dylan Larkin skated most of the length of the ice, almost past Gerry Mayhew. Filip Zadina scored at 10:23, using Mayhew, Larkin, and Nick Seeler as traffic against Hart. The hesitation to step up to Larkin in transition allowed more room for that goal, extending the Detroit Red Wings lead to 2-0.
Soon after, Scott Laughton was denied by Greiss on a breakaway because he didn’t lift the puck over the same leg pad that stopped van Riemsdyk.
“I think Laughty out there brings a lot of poise.”Keith Yandle; 2/12/2022
Laughton did get rewarded for his second period effort. He drew a hooking penalty, which turned into an assist on the powerplay when Keith Yandle buried one at 0:07, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Ivan Provorov served a dumb, costly penalty. Away from the play, he skated into Griess, sweeping the goaltender off of his skates. Bertuzzi nearly finessed a backhand shot past Hart, but it hit the post. Before the powerplay expired, Moritz Seider converted at 10:55. The Detroit Red Wings led, 3-1.
Mayhew crashed into the boards after tripping over Greiss’ skate but seemed responsive to Jim McCrossin as he left the ice with the training staff.
“It’s a really scary play when you’re going into the wall with that much speed. It’s good to see that he’s okay.”Scott Laughton; 2/12/2022
Immediately after, Laughton scored at 10:11. Konecny’s shot budged off the post, but it was knocked in by Laughton, who was buzzing all game. The Philadelphia Flyers were back to a one-goal deficit, 3-2.
Konecny continues to play hard, but the luck doesn’t fall his way. He nearly tied the game off a pass from van Riemsdyk. Greiss, again, made a save, but this time with his glove. These isolated saves by Greiss were reminiscent of his performances during 2019-2020 in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals with the New York Islanders.
“We put ourselves in a position where we could’ve come back and won this game.”Mike Yeo; 2/12/2022
Rasmussen scored the empty-net goal at 1:39 to extend the lead to 4-2. Yandle tossed his stick at the puck, making it automatic but nullifying assists from Larkin and Sam Gagner.
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, February 15th, 2022. Faceoff is at 7pm.
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)