Over the last two games, the Philadelphia Flyers own a -11 goal differential following separate decisive losses to the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.
Following a 9-2 loss to the Capitals, the Flyers became the most injured team in the NHL. Critical elements of the franchise likely are out for the remainder of the season. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get an honest gauge of the team. James van Riemsdyk scored both goals against Washington. In other words, he accounts for the only goals in the last two games.
Tonight, Alexandar Georgiev shut out Philadelphia. Kappo Kakko had another multi-goal game. The Rangers set the pace, then began to play a preventive strategy in the third period. Nonetheless, the Flyers lost 4-0. They’re 0-2-0 this week in the worst of ways.
What about these two losses? Here’s a combined Reese’s Remarks:
“They’re obviously really good players. They make it easy on me. They tell me what to do and what’s going to be open, so I know where to look.”Bobby Brink; 4/12/2022
Unfortunately, Bobby Brink made his debut to the tune of a 9-2 thrashing by the Washington Capitals. He secured his first NHL point, a powerplay assist. He does help push the powerplay forward, helping the Philadelphia Flyers convert 50% of their man-advantages.
He stepped onto the ice at the Capital One Arena to take his rookie lap.
In the first period, Brink showed life on the first powerplay. Later, he appeared on the stat sheet when van Riemsdyk scored his second.
“He looks really good there. He’s got deception in his game.”Mike Yeo; 4/12/2022
Special team confidence is severely lacking. With the worst powerplay in the league, Brink could be the spark the Flyers need for the future. If van Riemsdyk is on the way out, so are powerplay goals. Opening $7mil in cap space is worth the risk, but 14/27 powerplay goals in 2021-2022 are from van Riemsdyk and other players who won’t be in Philadelphia next season. Down by a touchdown, Brink made an impression on Mike Yeo during the man-advantages.
Injury Report (-)
Once again, the Philadelphia Flyers are the most injured team in the NHL. It’s been this way for the majority of the season. What’s old became new again over the last two games.
Firstly, these injuries could change perceptions heading into 2022-2023. Durability and the Flyers hadn’t belonged in the same sentence all season.
Thompson, 37-years-old, shouldn’t receive an extension. Brown might have been on the cusp as a fourth-line center, but his upper-body injury might change plans. Atkinson, York, Ristolainen, and Hart, Philadelphia are committed. Nothing left to do but let the prospects cook for the final eight games.
Prospect Praise (+)
Yeo had a lot of praise for the prospects.
Tanner Laczynski often began in the OZ. Yegor Zamula continued to play with poise, using his stick to disrupt the New York Rangers. Noah Cates had a physical evening; there may as well be two Zack MacEwen’s on the ice.
Scott Laughton especially likes playing with Cates. He had this to say about him following the game:
“I absolutely loved playing with Catesy, I got to give him a shout out. He’s a really good pro, he’s really good on the puck, and he’s fun to play with.”Scott Laughton; 4/13/2022
Cates, Laughton, and Owen Tippett were the best forward line versus the Rangers. If any line were to score a goal, it would be this one. Unfortunately, Georgiev remained stubborn. In the third period, Cates nearly spoiled his shutout bid.
Zamula continues to impress lately. He played on the second pair with Kevin Connauton. In two games, Zamula is posturing a 59.4%CF. Last season, Zamula had the same sample size. In 2020-2021, he finished with a 54.8%CF. These signs of growth ought to buy him a place with the Philadelphia Flyers next season.
Flyers 2G Battle (+)
Martin Jones was serviceable. It’s time to unleash Felix Sandstrom in the NHL.
“I thought he was great. [He] looked really calm. I was confident with him in the net. That five-on-three; I would have liked for that to be a turning point in the game. That’s a massive kill for almost a full two minutes against a powerplay like that.”Mike Yeo; 4/13/2022
He performed well against the San Jose Sharks, losing in OT. Last night, he allowed three goals against the New York Rangers. In two NHL starts, Sandstrom is 0-1-1 with a 2.91GAA and a 92.4%SV. On average, Sandstrom faces 39.5 shots per game.
Currently, Ivan Fedotov is lighting up the KHL. Samuel Ersson is on his entry-level contract through 2024. The odd man out seems to be Kirill Ustimenko.
Ahead of 2022-2023, a battle for the 2G position with the Philadelphia Flyers could heat up between Sandstrom, Fedotov, and Ersson.
Shoot First Yeah, Yeah, Yeah (-)
The following are two Philadelphia Flyers players repeating an ongoing statement about having to shoot the puck more often following game 74/82 of the 2021-2022 NHL season:
“I think we got to have a better mentality about shooting the puck.”Ivan Provorov; 4/13/2022
“Starting with me, we had plenty of opportunities we didn’t capitalize on.”Travis Konecny; 4/13/2022
They’re aware of the need to shoot more but aren’t. Atkinson, at the beginning of the season, preached a shoot-first mentality. It’s a tale as old as Alain Vigneault. They need to shake the “look for the extra move” mentality and keep everything simple, which can be a tough habit to break following a system stressing quality over quantity.
Furthermore, Travis Konecny added this nugget. He’s taking a more direct approach to team management:
“I’ve talked a lot with management, too. We’re trying to work on watching clips and getting into more scoring areas.”Travis Konecny; 4/13/2022
The Flyers are one-dimensional in their attack. Everything happens at the crease, but opposing teams are clearing the porch. Last night, the New York Rangers owned the blue line, the faceoff circle, the slot, and the crease.
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)