Reese’s Remarks: Flyers Begin a Road Winning Streak at CBJ; 4-1

Flyers' Cam Atkinson
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 20: Philadelphia Flyers Right Wing Cam Atkinson (89) skates with the puck during the first period of a National Hockey League game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers on October 20, 2021, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Flyers lost versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-2. Mike Yeo accurately stated that he felt his team should have had a nice lead. Furthermore, Ivan Provorov drove home the recurring theme that the Flyers need to learn how to win.

Two nights later, Philadelphia returned the receipt. Pacing the game again, the Flyers did take the lead.

Eric Robinson scored a shorthanded goal, but it would be the last scoring play from the Blue Jackets. Kevin Connauton sparked the scoring against his former team. Then, Owen Tippett and Noah Cates continued to play well with Kevin Hayes. Finally, Travis Konecny attached the exclamation point, securing the anytime score prop bet.

For the second time this week, the Flyers outplayed Columbus. This time, the result was a 4-1 road victory.

Pacing (+)

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers fell apart in the third period on home ice. Lately, it’s been tough for the Flyers to hang on to a lead or win the third period. A lackluster performance during clutch circumstances will forever be a recipe for disaster. Last night, we witnessed a complete performance by Philadelphia.

At the beginning of the week, I pointed out that the Flyers have squandered a late tie score or lead in three of their last five games. Lately, Philadelphia is playing quality hockey more often than not. Ironically, their other win against the New York Rangers featured their worst performance in the last five games.

The Flyers are outshooting the opposition; twice against the Columbus Blue Jackets and once against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yeo credited his team for establishing their game, especially after allowing a shorthanded goal:

“We allowed that shorthanded goal; almost allowed another one late in the game, which I wasn’t really thrilled about. I think, for the most part, we did a pretty good job after that point in the first period of sort of establishing our game.”

Mike Yeo; 4/7/2022

Yeo has Philadelphia clicking this week, but Saturday welcomes a different opponent.

Recalls, Prospects, and Waiver Signings (+)

“Some of the youth we’ve injected; these guys are not just getting the opportunity to play, they’re having an impact in the game.”

Mike Yeo; 4/7/2022

Yeo is squeezing positive production from unexpected players in 2021-2022.

  • Patrick Brown
  • Zack MacEwen
  • Kevin Connauton
  • Max Willman
  • Isaac Ratcliffe
  • Noah Cates
  • Hayden Hodgson
  • Felix Sandstrom

I omitted Yegor Zamula, Wade Allison, Cam York, Tippett, and Morgan Frost because we’ve seen enough of them to understand they would make an impact with the Philadelphia Flyers. These players have all made a case to remain in close connection with the team for the 2022-2023 season. Here’s what I do like about each one, in short:

  • Brown (he’s the best in the faceoff circle since Claude Giroux became a Florida Panther)
  • MacEwen (he’s the identity of this team; captain of what I call the identity line at the bottom of the lineup)
  • Connauton (he’s a valid option for a seventh defenseman and contributed as a forward when called upon)
  • Willman (he has sneaky good hands; takes open shots and is careful with the puck)
  • Ratcliffe (he scores at a .4PT/60 pace; big frame to use netfront on the powerplay)
  • Cates, N (he’s a two-hundred-foot player on a current scoring streak, growing his game with Tippett)
  • Hodgson (in two fewer games than Nicolas Aube-Kubel played with the Flyers in 2021-2022, Hodgson scored more points)
  • Sandstrom (in his NHL debut, he forced OT against the San Jose Sharks; saved 43/46 shots)

Cates-Hayes-Tippett (+)

Some of these prospects convince me that the Philadelphia Flyers won’t have to do as much rebuilding as I previously thought. Watching this particular line buzz all night showed us that these prospects can rejuvenate some of these veterans. On the season, I would say that last night was Hayes’ best game. Flanking him was Cates (in his fifth NHL game) and Tippett (in his tenth game as a Flyer.)

Tippett and Cates did a marvelous job of communicating last night. They both scored while Hayes had a pair of assists.

“A couple of those guys got on the scoresheet tonight. They’re doing the right things, both with and without the puck. Number one, that’s how you get rewarded; that’s how you have success. Number two, that’s how you earn the trust of both your teammates and coaches.”

Mike Yeo; 4/7/2022

Yeo didn’t switch forward lines. All the lines remained since opening faceoff. Throughout the game, Hayes’ line remained the most dangerous scoring threat to Elvis Merzlikins.

“After the first couple shifts, we were able to feed off each other and learn where each other is gonna’ be. When you get some offense out of it; you get rewarded for some of the work you’ve done, it makes it even better.”

Owen Tippett; 4/7/2022

If prospects grow enough in their playing time to carry the momentum into next season, it’ll be a welcomed surprise by all of Philadelphia.

Atkinson Homecoming (+)

Cam Atkinson recently bought back his house from when he was a Columbus Blue Jacket. It’s a literal translation of “home is where the heart is.” When the Philadelphia Flyers visited the Blue Jackets, Atkinson received his flowers.

His homecoming in Columbus is a precursor to how it will be when Giroux visits the Flyers for the first time since being traded.

“It was a special night, for sure. You could just feel the buzz as soon as we landed. Today, the anticipation of coming to the rink for pregame skate, warmups, seeing all the signs and jerseys; the support around the city. It’s truly a special place.”

Cam Atkinson; 4/7/2022

(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)