Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 3: SJ 8, PHI 2 - Defenseless
Getting blown out in the home opener in one of the most critical years under your current core by giving up 4 goals in the first period to a team that had just been shutout by the New York Islanders? That's a BOLD strategy, Cotton.
We'll see if it pays off for them.
The Philadelphia Flyers lose, which, frankly, isn't a strong enough word to describe this game, by a lot to the San Jose Sharks. I'm not sure what the final score was. To be honest I'm not sure I can count that high.
Last year's home opener was the perfect response to a heartbreaking loss against the Predators that seemed like it might be an early indicator of what was to come. Tuesday night's opener, on the other hand, was a nightmare game in which pretty much everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.
It didn't look like that was the way things were going early on. Far from it, actually. The Flyers looked great for the first three minutes, controlling play, creating chances, keeping pucks in, it was a perfect offensive start.
Then they had to play defense and things turned sour real quick.
Ivan Provorov was unable to get a point wrist shot through about 3 and a half minutes in, which turned into a Sharks 2-on-1 with their top line on the ice. Logan Couture beat Brian Elliott 5-hole on the Sharks first shot, giving them the early lead.
But it's ok, I'm sure they'll tighten things down.
(Spongebob narrator voice) 11...seconds...later
A weak shot on goal turned into a sloppy rebound by Elliott that was slammed home by Joe Pavelski, you guessed it, 11 seconds after the Couture tally. It's like the playoffs never ended.
But it's ok, I'm sure they'll tighten things down.
Joe Pavelski was left open in front and while initially ruled to be stopped, replay showed his first chance in front of the net cleared the goal line to make it 3-0.
Maybe they won't tighten-
Evander Kane, power play deflection. 4-0. End of 1.
The sad part is it could have easily been worse. The Flyers were outshot 23 to 7 (!!!) in the 1st period, easily their worst margain of the early season. In fact I'd be shocked if it's not the worst margain the Flyers will have in a period all season (if it's not help me God). Somehow Brian Elliott survived the 1st, both in terms of his mental state and the fact he was still in the crease to start the 2nd.
The Flyers did score the 1st goal of the 2nd frame. On their 2nd power play of the game, Claude Giroux got the puck to Shayne Gostisbehere while Aaron Dell was down and out fighting off a scramble in front. The Ghost bomb cued the goal horn for the first time this season and gave the Flyers some life. Potentially.
Then you remember it's the Flyers and they're the masters of the false hope goal. That hope was shot down by a bar-down wrister from Evander Kane, his second of the night, just a few seconds after the Flyers finished killing off another penalty.
The Flyers did look a little better in the 2nd, outshooting San Jose 10-8 (not including a late post hit by Jakub Voracek) but it just wasn't enough to chip a significant dent in the Sharks 4-0 lead. Had it been 4-2 or 4-3 going into the 3rd, the Flyers would've had a legitimate chance to come back in this one.
The 3rd, uh, who cares, nobody watched. If you watched the entire 60 minutes of this game, congratulations. You deserve a prize. The next time you go to a game go up to someone and tell them this and it should be redeemable for one (1) free Gritty plush doll (non-refundable).
The Flyers hit the post, meaning they didn't score, Tomas Hertl hit twine of the power play, meaning he scored, Oskar Lindblom hit twine, meaning he sco-nope, high stick, nevermind. Timo Meier kicked it the extra point Forsberg style for the San Jose Spartans (San Jose doesn't have an NFL team so I went college instead), turn styling AMac in the process. Barclay Goodrow went for 2 and appeared to get it with a short-handed goal, but was overruled by Wayne Simmonds tackling Aaron Dell in the endzone for a safety on the same man advantage. This was the real life adapation of one of my favorite GIFs of all-time:
Good night, bad hockey.
Gritty coming down from the rafters to Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" was the highlight of the night. Granted it was a low bar but still.
The Flyers fall to 4-2-0 in home openers against the Western Conference teams. They lost their last one as well, 3-2 in 2016 to the Anaheim Ducks.
This was the worst Flyers home opener since 1971, when they lost 7-0 to the Los Angeles Kings.
Scott Laughton was one of the few bright spots in this game for the Flyers his aggressiveness on the penalty kill was a bright spot for a unit that has looked surprisingly competent.
2 short-handed goals in 3 games? Really? I know I've said this has been a problem before, but it's never gotten off to this bad of a start.
The reveal of the Flyers new goal song is always something I look forward to. Which made the fact that it's the same cringy song as last year about the 12th worse thing to happen last night.
He was the scape goat of the Flyers first goal, but man, Ivan Provorov has not looked great to start the year, and I honestly don't know why. He's just not making the same smart decisions with the puck that he has in his first 2 years. I'm sure he'll turn it around soon but for now it's a little concerning.
In fact, Travis Sanheim replaced Provorov on the 2nd power play unit at the end of the game, the first action suggesting that Dave Hakstol is aware of Provorov's poor start.
It definitely wasn't his fault the Flyers got shelled, but Brian Elliott looked slow to my eyes. There were several instances where Elliott was slow getting back to his feet after reacting to a shot, and a couple of times (notably on the 4-1 goal) where he dropped down to early. That goal was a bad bounce of Oskar Lindblom's stick so it's hard to blame him for the outcome, but my point still stands.
On a related note HOW THE HELL DID ELLIOTT PLAY THIS WHOLE GAME. I was clamoring for a goalie change at 2-0, begging for one at 3-0, but understood Dave Hakstol's conserativism and not wanting to embarass Elliott. But 7 goals? That's probably even more embarassing than getting pulled.
If only I had a dollar for every golden chance the Flyers missed in this game, especially early. Giroux shanking a wide open chance down low, Couturier hitting the bar on a 2-on-1, Patrick flubbing a chance in front in the 2nd. I guess I'd only be 3 dollars richer but you get my point.
I miss JVR already.
1st - J. Pavelski (SJ) - 2 G
2nd - K. Labanc (SJ) - 4 A
3rd - E. Kane (SJ) - 2 G
1st in Our Hearts - Gritty
SJ - 10/11 @ NYR (0-3-0)
PHI - 10/10 @ OTT (1-1-1)