Reese’s Remarks: Flyers’ Farabee and Hart smash ‘Smashville’

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Flyers' Kevin Hayes
Philadelphia Flyers’ Kevin Hayes (13) celebrates after a goal against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Last night was an example of how to recover on a road trip.

The Philadelphia Flyers are 4-1-0. The Florida Panthers were able to get a victory with Felix Sandstrom between the pipes. Carter Hart is playing like the best goaltender in the league (4-0-0, 1.75GAA, 94.9%SV) to begin 2022-2023.

“He made some really big saves. He’s been that way from the start. He looks calm, there’s not a lot of extra motion. He’s been a very big reason of why we’ve away with some wins.”

John Tortorella; 10/22/2022

The Flyers weren’t the most physical team on the ice, nor did they possess the puck as much as the Nashville Predators. Yet, they earned the 3-1 victory. Opportunistic, Kevin Hayes and Zack MacEwen popped two pucks past Juuse Saros. Later, Joel Farabee notched his third point (1G, 2A) of the contest in the final period. Before regulation time expired, Matt Duchene scored a 6v4 powerplay goal to break the shutout bid.

Mark Borowiecki and Morgan Frost featured in an unfortunate event in the second period. Borowiecki went to play the puck behind the net, his head sandwiched between the boards and Frost. No penalty was called on the play, which was the right call. Borowiecki left the Bridgestone Arena on a stretcher following the unfortunate sequence but had movement in his extremities and was conscious on the way to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“I’m trying to get his phone number now to send him a text. Outside of hockey, we’re all humans. Those are the things you don’t want to see.”

Nicolas Deslauriers; 10/22/2022

Philadelphia returns to the Wells Fargo Center tonight to host the San Jose Sharks. Before then, here are observations from last night’s win against the Predators:

Defensive Presence (+)

In front of Hart, the Flyers’ defense received quite the overhaul. Ivan Provorov looks smooth with Tony DeAngelo, and Egor Zamula continues to improve rapidly.

“I think, just as a team, we came out and wanted it more. I think we were more committed to playing defense than they were, and that ultimately decided the game.”

Joel Farabee; 10/22/2022

DeAngelo routinely impresses on powerplay possessions. Last night, Philadelphia was 0/2 with the man advantage, but the puck movement is great to see. Had the first opportunity lasted longer before turning into 4v4 hockey, a conversion might’ve taken place.

Provorov and Zamula both notched assists.

Zamula found his legs on the road. He’s been very involved. With the exception of a giveaway in the first period, Zamula is playing clean, quality hockey. When the puck drops at the Wells Fargo Center versus the Sharks, Philadelphia will observe a completely different but effective version of Zamula.

Joel Farabee (+)

Farabee is finding his way, growing confidence after missing training camp.

“Players, when they get some points, it always helps their confidence. We’re trying to get him playing better by giving him minutes.”

John Tortorella; 10/22/2022

These extra minutes are helping Tortorella unleash Farabee. All of his points on the season erupted in last night’s final score.

“I don’t think he’s playing great, but when forwards get points, it helps their game.”

John Tortorella; 10/22/2022

A fair assessment. All the points totaled took place during even-strength hockey, but on special teams, Farabee excelled on the penalty kill. He blocks shots, executing the smaller details within his responsibilities. Up to the 6v4 powerplay goal by Duchene, the Flyers were perfect on the penalty kill. Much of that has to do with the play in front of and including, Hart on the penalty kill.

“We were really solid on the PK tonight; obviously they got the one at the end, it’s a six-on-four powerplay. I think our PK has been really good the last few games.”

Carter Hart; 10/22/2022

Carter Hart (+)

Philadelphia is finding its way to the win column more often than not. Is the method sustainable? Hart is standing on his head in these victories, earning the praise of his teammates, coaches, and fans nightly. He’s giving his team a chance to win, and they’re reciprocating.

“We never gave up. We have a great goalie right now, so that’s good. We’re finding our way; in the second period there’s a couple [of] things we have to do, but we’re finding our way.”

Nicolas Deslauriers; 10/22/2022

Hart didn’t play in the preseason. Yet, of all goaltenders starting four or more games this season, he ranks among the elite with Jake Oettinger, Ilya Samsonov, Tristan Jarry, and Linus Ullmark.

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)