Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 41: CGY 3, PHI 2 (OT) - Doesn't Brod Well
At least you Travii'd.
Is that the plural of Travis? Ah, who cares - the Philadelphia Flyers lose, 3-2, in overtime, to Johnny Hockey and the Cal-gary Flames, who are indeed on fire (no pun intended). The game ended eerily similar to the last time these two teams met, when Calgary tied the game with 2 goals in the last 59 seconds before winning in overtime, sealing the firing of Dave Hakstol. This game might have been quite as heartbreaking, but it still stings.
What made this a little bit worse is that for once, we got to see the Flyers lines optomized. After a lot of changes, some good, others frusturating, Scott Gordon gave us the beauty of:
Nolan returns to the lineup, and Oskie gets the reward of playing with the guy he's shown the most chemistry with in a top-6 role. Michael Raffl and Scott Laughton were in the bottom-6 where they belong, Jordan Weal stayed in the lineup in place of Phil Varone, and nothing stupid was done with the defense either. Starter Hart returned to crease, with the newly acquired Mike McKenna backing him up.
Oh yeah, the Flyers claimed 35 year-old journeyman goalie Mike McKenna off waivers from the Canucks a day after they had acquired him via trade from the Sens. Should he ever play with the Flyers, they would tie an NHL record for most goalies used in a single season. Fun times!
Like they have in most of Carter Hart's starts, the Flyers locked things down in the first period, not giving up many quality scoring chances to a Flames teams that creates a lot of them. They even got an early power play, which figured to be nothing more than the standard two minutes of ineffective zone entries. But wait a minute, what's Travis Sanheim doing with the puck in a higher danger area. WHILE the team is still on the power play...
SECOND UNIT GOAL!!!
It may not have been the prettiest goal, as Sanheim's toss for Weal deflected off the leg of a Flames defenseman and in, but the power play is in the same state as the PK was in October - just do your job, no matter how you do it. They failed on another power play just a few minutes after, but were able to take that 1-0 lead into intermission.
After another unsuccessful power play early in the 2nd, the game started to open up, with Calgary creating some more chances. Of course, nothing opens up the game like 4-on-4, which came about 8 minutes into the 2nd. About halfway through 4-on-4, South Jersey native Johnny Gaudreau got open on the right circle and just rifled a perfect shot over the shoulder of Hart, knotting the game 1-1. The Flames kept coming in the 2nd, nearly scoring shorthanded like they did last game, but thanks to some great work from Starter Hart, the game stayed tied 1-1.
Hey, anyone remember that Michal Neuvirth incident on Tuesday against Nashville? What a funny thing to happen, right? Could you even think of a goalie doing something stupider-oh look, here's David Rittich trying to make an outlet pass.
The only problem is that apparently David is color blind or forgot to change his pass assist slider in NHL 19, because he put it right on TK's stick, allowing the other Travii to light the lamp for the 10th time this year, putting Konecny back on a 20-goal pace, and giving the Flyers the lead back. For all of the Flyers players that have regressed this year, TK is on pace for 20 goals and 46 points, almost identical to his numbers from last season.
So could they hold it down this time? For the next 6 minutes, the game seemed to play out in the same sequence. Calgary gets the puck it deep, Calgary gets it back, holds the puck for a bit, gets a decent scoring chance, the Flyers clear it and barely get it back into the Flames zone before rinsing and repeating.
Unfortunately, things broke down with just under 5 minutes to go. The Flames were able to make a good entry into the offensive zone, then found the soft spot in the Flyers coverage. Matthew Tkachuk proved to be just as much a Flyer killer as his brother Brady, sniping short side on Hart on a clean look from the slot, tying the score 2-2.
As much as you want to say you didn't see it coming, admit it, you saw it coming. You saw the OT winner coming as well, as despite making it there to earn their first point of 2019, the Flyers just looked sloppy. Jordan Weal fanned on a pass to the point, giving the Flames a 2-on-1. Tkachuk made a perfect pass to T.J. Brodie, and while Hart got a piece of the puck with his arm, the puck still bounced in to the net. Once again, the Flyers came up small down the stretch, and have now lost their 6th straight game because of it. Let the tank roll on.
While Konecny hasn't regressed on the whole compared to his teammates, that was his first goal in 13 games. He's always been a sporadic player when it comes to scoring, so hopefully this can start a hot streak.
Calgary's win this afternoon was their 700th road victory in franchise history.
In his first game back after that clunker in Carolina, I thought Hart played very well in goal. His rebound control was much better and he looked poised throughout the whole game. You could maybe say you'd have liked a save on Tkachuk's goal, but it was a perfect shot from a good player against a rookie who's not going to be perfect. But he certainly wasn't bad today either.
So far, the Tkachuk brothers (Matthew and Brady) have played 2 games each against the Flyers this year. They both have 6 points each in those games, offically cementing themselves as Flyer killers for life.
Several times in this game the Flames did a great job of forcing the Flyers into turnovers and prevented them from getting the puck in deep with regularity. It's a huge reason why they're 3rd in the NHL right now, and look to be a dangerous team going forward.
We are now officially at the halfway point of the season, with the Flyers at an atrocious 15-20-6. They are on pace for a measley 72 points, which would be there worst total in a full season since they put up a league-worst 56 in 2006-07. What a nightmare.
1st - T. Brodie (CGY) - 1 G
2nd - T. Konecny (PHI) - 1 G
3rd - J. Gaudreau (CGY) - 1 G
CGY - 1/7 @ CHI (15-21-7)
PHI - 1/7 vs. STL (16-18-4)