Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 40: CAR 5, PHI 3 - Tankilton
Why are you the way that you are?
Today's intro, brought to you by The Office, is a fitting summary of the Flyers whole 2018-19 season, but specifically their 5-3 loss at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night. Neither the new year nor a return to the Farg were enough to bring the Flyers back to even to their former glory.
Coming off one of their worst stretches of the season, the Flyers responded with some more line changes. Up front, Oskar Lindblom FINALLY got the ice time I've been calling for, playing on the top line with Giroux and Coots. It came at the expense of Travis Konecny, demoted all the way to the 4th line (Scott Gordon, What Are You Doing?) alongside staples Weise and Varone. The middle-6 was comprised of JVR-Weal-Simmonds and Raffl-Laughton-Voracek, which sounds about right. Defensively, Christian Folin checked back in for the first time since November 24th, as Andrew MacDonald is out until at least Monday with an undisclosed injury.
After Starter Hart's struggles in Carolina, Neuvy surprisingly got the call after giving up 4 goals in Smashville. The team responded with one of their most languid starts of the year, failing to do much at either end of the ice for 20 minutes. But the dam broke in the 2nd. Dougie Hamilton walked in front the right point and sniped on Neuvirth less than 2 minutes in. That was followed by Wayne Simmonds taking his 2nd penalty of the night, which proved a costly one, as Justin Williams beat Neuvirth on a one-timer from the slot, doubling up the Canes lead. This was just the beginning of the Flyers PK failures, as later in the frame Teuvo Teravainen was left wide open backdoor for an easy one-timer, extending the lead to 3-0 after 40 minutes.
When Warren Fogele of all people scored on a deflection just over 5 minutes into the 3rd, it seemed like this was over. Surely the Flyers, who have looked so bad since Christmas break, couldn't come back from another massive 3rd period deficit. Right?
And then the power play finally broke through of a beautiful passing play to Wayne Simmonds (keep boosting that trade value). Then Sean Couturier scored on a tip-in despite a goalie interference challenge from Rod Brind'Amour. And all of a sudden, JVR took a rebound on the power play and spun it past Petr Mrazek. Yes, the same Petr Mrazek that was a Flyer for about 5 minutes last year. Suddenly, the Flyers had life, and were one goal away from completing another impossible comeback.
There it is. Right there. That's what the Flyers want you to feel. False hope. The hope that they can turn things around, not just tonight, but on this season. The same feeling that will keep fans in the seats and Gritty merch flying off the shelves. But it never becomes anything more. And that fate was sealed with the Hurricanes transitioned a wide one-timer from Voracek into a 2-on-1 rush, which Teravainen buried 5-hole on Neuvirth, putting the game away. Despite their best efforts to mask it late, the Flyers are still a bad, frusturating, inconsistent team that is going nowhere fast. Good night, bad reality. I'm sorry the Flyers keep doing this. Go Birds.
The Flyers were wearing their traditional road uniforms despite being back home, apparently because the Hurricanes owner hates their road jerseys and doesn't want the team to wear team. Personally, I just thought it looked weird, but for older fans it might have been a nice throwback.
Tonight was the first time the Flyers have scored multiple PPGs in the same game since November 17th, which happened to be the game they came back from that 4-goal 3rd period deficit against Tampa Bay. Almost illuminati confirmed.
With 2 shots on goal, Dougie Hamilton extends his league-leading streak of 204 games with a shot on goal.
The Simmonds goal broke a shutout streak of 1:23:29, dating back to Voracek's goal in Carolina on Monday. That's a streak of over 2 full games.
Several scouts were in attendance tonight. Good auditions for Simmonds and Raffl, not so much for Neuvirth and Weal, who did nothing. Christian Folin was invisible as well, but that's about what you'd expect for him. These are the guys Chuck Fletcher is going to be selling in the next 2 months, so while every game might not impact a playoff race, they do have meaning for this purpose. That and to ensure the #1 overall pick and a 20% chance at Jack Hughes.
Claude Giroux was elected as the Flyers rep for the All-Star game later this month. Jakub Voracek was the team's nomination for the Final Vote. Jake probably won't make it, but G's nomination is well deserved - he's on pace for a 94 point season and has been one of the few bright spots in the dark hell that has been this season.
1st - T. Teravainen (CAR) - 2 G, 1 A
2nd - C. Giroux (PHI) - 2 A
3rd - S. Aho (CAR) - 2 A
CAR - 1/4 vs. CBJ (23-13-3)
PHI - 1/5 vs. CGY (25-13-4)