Lately, the Philadelphia Flyers contest the opposition with real grit. Over the last four games, their record shows 1-1-2.
The one victory was at home, hosting the Colorado Avalanche. Tonight, they visited for the second tilt of the season. With a win, the Flyers secure the season series sweep. That is confidence, especially in a sequence of games on the schedule where the effort should’ve earned a few victories.
Could Philadelphia make the best out of the ongoing road trip, extending a two-game point streak with a couple of points toward the standings?
Cam York put the Flyers in the right direction. He scored first, following up on his shot from the outside to give a 1-0 lead.
Then, the Avalanche came back. JT Compher created mayhem throughout three periods, getting his motor running with heavy shots in the first. In the second, he sprung Devon Toews for the equalizer. The turning point came at the expense of Philadelphia’s powerplay, where the puck took an unfortunate bounce off the glass past York, allowing the go-ahead goal by Artturi Lehkonen, 2-1.
“It’s a bad bounce. It’s not a great entry. Frosty needs to chip it in; that’s a dangerous part of the ice. He can’t turn it over. You can even see, it was Lehkonen who scored the goal, he wasn’t even skating at first for it.”John Tortorella; 12/13/2022
Compher struck again, extending the lead with the eventual game-winning goal. Lehkonen moved the puck from behind Felix Sandstrom quickly for Compher to slam the puck into the net, 3-1. Sandstrom was pulled earlier than usual to give the Flyers a better chance to tie the game at 6v5. Travis Konecny shot a one-timer past Pavel Francouz, which seemed deflected by James van Riemsdyk. Unfortunately, the 6v5 didn’t strike twice.
Following the 3-2 loss, Philadelphia is 1-2-2 in the last five games.
Situational Hockey (-)
Ahead of the clash in Colorado, Tortorella remarked about situational hockey and how Philadelphia needs to be better at managing the game:
“You’re always looking to play a consistent game. It’s times like the back half of the first period the other night in Arizona; the times that you’re not dead on, you just can’t get hurt as far as a goal being scored against you. You just got to find a way to manage the part of the game when it’s not there.”John Tortorella; 12/13/2022
‘One bounce the other way’ is a tired theme for the Flyers in 2022-2023. While accurate regarding a shorthanded goal surrendered, the correct play needs execution in the neutral zone.
Additionally, other things stunted the momentum. Philadelphia couldn’t possess the puck for the first half of the second period. The Avalanche lived in the offensive zone. All the unnecessary icing made it easier for Compher and company to keep pressing Sandstrom.
“In the second period, we iced the puck a lot; we turned the puck over for the first ten, twelve minutes of that period. We were in our end zone. The second half of the second period, we got back in it.”John Tortorella; 12/13/2022
Still, the Flyers were down, but not out. Urgency in the second half of the third period nearly helped force overtime. A gutsy final frame couldn’t complete the comeback.
Cam York (+)
He remains impressive since the beginning of the road trip. Tortorella sent him down to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms ahead of opening night to not just further develop his skills, but to become the game-changer he has the potential to be. Tonight, York scored his first point of the 2022-2023 NHL season.
“He’s been great. He’s a great hockey player and he’s been showing that the last couple games. He scored tonight. Kudos to him, he’s great on the powerplay.”Kevin Hayes; 12/13/2022
York seems to feel like he is finding his groove lately as well:
“I’m always on my toes, trying to push the pace of the game, break out the puck; try and be really detailed in my game. I feel like I’ve had it lately and I just want to keep doing what I’m doing.”Cam York; 12/13/2022
Before tonight, York was a +2 with three blocked shots recorded. Newly recalled, it’s not a big sample size for the 2022-2023 stint, but his performances showcase as promising. Aside from the goal in the first period, York tallied four hits. He’s now totaled six this season, focusing more on his physicality under Tortorella.
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)