Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 19: NJ 3, PHI 0 - Pipe Dream
While the plan against Florida was flawed, at least it involved showing up for part of the game.
In the most Flyers game ever, the Philadelphia Flyers lose (of course) 3-0 to the straight outta 1995 all-defense New Jersey Devils, laying an egg for the 2nd straight game after they had won 5 of their previous 6. At least the Flyers had an excuse of facing a red-hot Panthers team on Tuesday. Thursday night? Not so much.
Back on the roller coaster, I guess.
While I didn't have a chance to watch all of this game (thanks, school), what I saw reminded me a lot of the first 40 minutes of the Florida game. Lack of energy, sluggish with the puck, and struggling to create high danger chances. But everyone else seems to think differently - that the Flyers outplayed New Jersey but just fell victim to bad luck.
I have to say, you can't argue with that last part. Philadelphia hit FIVE posts on Thursday night and had a PP goal from Ghost called back due to a spotty at best goalie interference call on JVR.
Did I mention JVR is back? Well he's back. Good to see you again, James! (Please stay healthy we so desperately need you)
And while the Flyers were busy hitting posts, the Devils were busy scoring... wrap-arounds? Who scores wrap-arounds in today's NHL?
Remembers Sidney Crosby scoring on two different wrap-arounds in the playoffs-ok besides him, who scores on wrap-arounds these days?
The answer, apparently, is Joey Anderson and Kyle Palmieri. Anderson recorded his first NHL goal on the wrap, as is required by the NHL Rulebook Section 19.75 (at least 1 first NHL goal must be scored or goalless drought of 30+ games broken in every 3rd Flyers game). Palmieri had slowed down from a hot start - after scoring 7 in his first 4 games, he has just 4 in his last 13.
Granted, scoring wrap-arounds is a lot easier when the opposing goalie can't move post-to-post. Despite making some big saves (as always), Brian Elliott looked lethargic at best on the Anderson goal and flat out couldn't move on Palmieri's tally, and was lifted for Cal Pickard immediately after. Add in a Blake Coleman ENG and that's how you get to 3, and how the Devils got 2 points in this one.
While neither of the last two losses are horrible, they do prove something awfully frusturating - the Flyers have still not turned the corner. We were all hoping the Flyers would just keep on running after their strong west coast road trip and start to this 5-game homestand, maybe finally pulling away from mediocrity into a consistent stretch of success.
The Flyers are still a mediocre team (maybe slightly above mediocre, but still) and probably will be for at least the next 2-3 years. Yes, I know Ron has been saying we're 2-3 years away since he came here since 2014, but this time we mean it, I swear!
But seriously, until this team gets an elite or at least consistently good and healthy starting goalie (I know he's kinda struggling a little bit in the AHL but LOOKING AT YOU CARTER HART), they will be just that. By then, they'll probably have patched up the rest of the defense and maybe will have special teams that aren't in the league's basement, too. I'll probably still overreact about every winning and losing streak until then, but try to keep that general message in your head, for better or for worse.
Brian Elliott is offically out 2 weeks with a lower-body injury. That's bad, but it could've been a lot worse. Alex Lyon gets the call-up with Michal Neuvirth still about 2 weeks away from returning from (another) injury himself.
The Elliott injury is more serious than most fans probably see it - over his last 7 games, Ells has had a .944 save% and a 1.55 GAA. A lot of the attention during the hot stretch last week went to guys breaking out like Coots and Provy, but Elliott has certaintly came into his own lately.
Things have gotten so bad for the power play that you could argue the PK has been better. They are now just 3 for their last 43 (7%). Yikes.
To build off that point, the Flyers PK went a perfect 2/2 on Thursday, marking just the 5th time this year they've held an opposing power play scoreless (but the 2nd time in 3 games).
In an effort to change things on the man advantage, Nolan and TK were sent back to the 2nd unit, with Jake promoted back up while JVR took the Patrick/Simmer role in front of the net. It kinda worked - 2 of the 5 posts the Flyers hit were on the PP, but at this point, they need statistical results to improve their confidence.
Radko Gudas sat out Thursday's game with an illness, meaning Andrew MacDonald drew back in for the first time since October 25th. I'd tell you how he looked but that would've required me to actually notice him on the ice. Which is honestly a good thing for AMac.
Speaking of important scratchings, NAK lives to see another day. He only saw 5:36 of ice-time, but that's 5:36 more than Jori Lehtera saw, who has healthy scratched for the first time this season. Hak is finally optimizing this lineup - for now.
Look on the bright side, people - Shittsburgh is currently dead last in the East. Which means Mike Sullivan will probably be fired in 2 months and that will spur the Pens to another cup run.
New Jersey is right above them (both have 17 points in 17 games but NJ has 1 more ROW). After winning their first 4, and being the last team in the NHL to lose, the Devils have gone just 4-8-1.
1st - K. Kinkaid (NJ) - 1.000 SV% (29 Saves/29 Shots)
2nd - B. Elliott (PHI) - .920 SV% (23 Saves/25 Shots)
3rd - J. Anderson (NJ) - 1 G
NJ - 11/17 vs. DET (8-9-2)
PHI - 11/17 vs. TBL (13-5-1)