The Flyers weren’t a complete disaster against a top-ten team in the NHL, though the scoreboard said otherwise. On the powerplay, they were 0/3. Structure and physicality were evident throughout the game, creating chances while in even strength scenarios. The parity of elite talent between the Flyers and Lightning was the difference.
Carter Hart (+)
Carter Hart suffered his sixth regulation loss of the 2022-2023 season but showed flashes of elite potential. Even though he conceded four goals, Hart bailed the Flyers out of a few more scoring chances. He played much better than 23 saves on 27 shots on goal suggests.
The final goal was unfortunate. Ian Cole dumped the puck from center ice, which bounced off the backboards, slipping past Hart after getting stuck in his pads. A fluke goal, it’s one Hart will be quick to forget:
“That might be one of the worst goals I’ve ever given up. It was tough, but it happens. Some bounces go your way, some bounces don’t. That one didn’t, but the best thing about it is it’s in the past. Just gotta put it behind me.”Carter Hart; 12/1/2022
Konecny scores in return
Travis Konecny made his return to the lineup, healing from an upper-body injury. In his return, he potted his eighth goal of the season during the third period. Pushing the Flyers’ pace under Tortorella, Koneceny made an instant impact.
The Flyers were dominated in the second period by Tampa Bay. Rasmus Ristolainen found himself in a long, 4:02 shift at a point. Losing crucial momentum in the period, Konecny believes the team has guys that could shift it back in their favor:
“I think there’s guys that can change the momentum. It’s just tough when you give the top line on the other side that much time and space to move around. They’re gonna do the same thing. They’re gonna get the momentum for their team.”Travis Konecny; 12/1/2022
Flyers still discovering their mentality
Lacking leaders on the bench to build and push momentum swings are critical in games like these. Konecny believes the team has players who can shift the momentum back into favor. Tortorella hasn’t found a particular member of the roster he can rely on to ignite a spark:
“I’m not pointing a finger at any one person. I think as a mentality of a team, we don’t have that. We’re gonna go through these, we’re gonna have another game like that, probably a few, before the season’s over.”John Tortorella; 12/1/2022
Tortorella preaches his team to play the same game no matter what the scoreboard says. He wants his team to keep the game simple at all times because he knows it can benefit them. Against the Lightning, the game escaped the Flyers:
“I’m not pointing at one guy and I’m not criticizing our guys, but we have to understand a mentality of finding someway to keep it simple, to get a forecheck, or do something to change the momentum. We did not have an answer tonight.”John Tortorella; 12/1/2022
The Flyers host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The puck drops at 7pm.
(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)