A 2-1 loss isn’t exactly ‘The Good Place,’ but it wasn’t all bad. It’s the preseason for everyone, right?
John Tortorella had another bird’s eye view of a young lineup assembled by Chuck Fletcher with Ian Laperriere as the bench boss. Some of the same chemistry reappeared from the 2-1 victory versus the Boston Bruins. Another line assembled by Fletcher worked, including James van Riemsdyk, Morgan Frost, and Travis Konecny.
The Philadelphia Flyers were noticeably conditioned. All of those intense skating drills are paying off as they traded goals in the first period. Brandon Biro put the Buffalo Sabres on the board with his first goal of the preseason before Konecny scored the equalizer after 14:42 in the first period.
Biro eventually made it two goals on the evening, including the game-winner. Giving the Sabres a second-period lead, Malcolm Subban blanked the Flyers in the third period. Buffalo improves to 2-0-0 while Philadelphia falls to 1-1-0.
A need for speed
There is zero doubt this edition of the Flyers will rely on speed and conditioning. The legs are feeding the wolves, as Tortorella would instruct. Konecny exhibited a burst of power on a give-and-go with van Riemsdyk. Everyone on the first line had their fingerprints on this scoring play, including Frost on the secondary assist.
Alex Tuch wasn’t having a good time, sending Konecny crashing into the boards after the goal scored. Konecny missed the last two shifts in the first stanza.
Frost also moved with haste on the outside, going one-on-one with Craig Anderson. Anderson made the save, but these high-quality scoring opportunities will pay off in the regular season.
Slop belongs to pigs, not Flyers
The second period would be better off forgotten. Buffalo outplayed Philadelphia in the second period despite matching shots on goal totals. The Sabres took better care of the puck, and the Flyers became passive, falling behind pace.
Jeff Skinner served a hooking minor, drawn by Zack MacEwen to give Philadelphia their first powerplay chance. The Flyers hardly possessed the puck and generated even less pressure via shooting. Buffalo rang two more shots off the post, and Philadelphia should be grateful the posts were in their corner. Otherwise, the deficit would be greater than 2-1 before the third period.
Again, the Flyers had another high-quality scoring chance. On a two-man advantage, Noah Cates nearly tied the score at two goals a piece. However, the Flyers squandered their 5v3 powerplay.
Noah was at the faceoff circle, securing an ideal shooting angle at Subban and the net. He made a good impression despite the missed shot, displaying a high motor and excelling on the forecheck. His tenacity to keep his legs moving, as Tortorella stresses at the 2022 Flyers Training Camp, equals an A+ effort.
If Philadelphia can figure out the magic formula, there is a bright future.
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)