Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 42: STL 3, PHI 0 - Binn There, Done That
Man, you write one piece about narratives and then all of a sudden the Flyers decide to pull out every single negative one they've had over the past half decade in one game?
Guess that sums up this season. Anyway, the Philadelphia Flyers lose (again), 3-0 to the St. Louie Blues (it sounds cooler that way, trust me). And while this looks like another ordinary loss in a season chopped full of them, look on the bright side - this was a huge loss. With the Blues in the basement as well, the battle for Jack Hughes was waged Monday night in full force, and by losing the game the Flyers came out as winners in the Lose for Hughes sweepstakes.
I could just do a normal breakdown of this game, just like pretty much every other brutal loss this season. I could talk about how the team was out shot 37-25 and looked more lethargic than usual. I could rant about how the only people to actually show up were Gritty and Starter Hart, whose teammates should be ashamed of the game they put in front of him. I could note how the Flyers gave up another goal in the first minute of a period, and to former Flyer Brayden Schenn none the less.
Or, we could have some fun.
Because, you see, there was an interesting (to say the least) piece of audio that leaked after the game. Apparently, a Scandinavian feed of the game called Viasat that doesn't have ads caught Flyers announcers Jim Jackson and Keith Jones talking about their thoughts of the game when they thought everything was off. Needless to say, it wasn't.
They said a lot of good things in this rant, to which I'll attach a link to at the end (although the audio quality is pretty bad), so let's break down this rant piece by piece, shall we?
Point 1: The Flyers f*cking suck.
Well, can't argue with that.
Point 2: The Flyers need to call someone up. JJ advocates for Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Jones mentions Tyrell Goulbourne "or someone."
Yes, the Flyers do need to call some kids up, thank you for noticing! Just not that second one. He's not really a kid. He's also played 13 NHL games and has done nothing to prove he's not just an AHL level enforcer. This isn't the 90s, so we'll pass. Still, it doesn't sound like Jones is sold on him - rather, he just things something needs to change.
For the record, if I could make call ups right now, I bring up Aube-Kubel and Phil Myers. NAK looked solid in his NHL audition earlier this season and has put up good numbers with the Phantoms. Myers has been downright stellar - 24 points in 31 games (T-5th among AHL defensemen) have put his mediocre training camp in the rear view mirror. I also wouldn't hate to see defenseman Mark Friedman get a look as well, but the numbers game might prevent that barring a trade.
Point 3: Dale Weise has to go - Jones
'Bout time you realized, guys!
It usually seems like Flyers fans give the broadcast team a lot of flak for talking about things like Andrew MacDonald's "stellar" +/- or Robert Hagg's place on the league's hits leaderboard. But here's proof that these guys actually realize the difference between a good hockey player and a bad one.
Point 4: Someone, whether it's Weise or Voracek, needs to be gone - Jones
Now, there's no way that Jones thinks Weise and Voracek have similar value. Getting rid of Weise means waiving him or finding a stupid GM (Chiarelli) to take him for a 6th round pick. On the other hand, ridding Voracek would be a blockbuster trade that would have to include a significant return to make the organization better in the long term.
But the fact that he threw Voracek out there is interesting. Voracek is in the 3rd year of a 8-year deal with an AAV of $8.25 million. After a career-high 85 points a year ago, Jake is one pace for a more modest but still solid 62 this season. However, anyone who regularly watches the Flyers knows just how frustrating Voracek can be. When he's on, there's no stopping him - the problem is keeping him on. His great plays are notable and make you go "oh" and "ah," but his bad plays are notable in the same way, except they make you go "booooo."
At least we know who Jake's next block on Twitter is going to be.
Point 5: This was basically the Toronto game incarnate, slightly better in play but also slightly worse because it's at home - JJ
Honestly that's a pretty accurate synopsis. In case you forgot, the Flyers got shelled 6-0 in Toronto the day after winning a decisive 4-0 contest over the red-hot Rangers on Black Friday. Andreas Johnsson had a hat trick in the first 10 minutes, Cal Pickard was pulled in the same time span after giving up 4 goals, and Ron Hextall was fired 2 days later.
The Flyers might not have been as bad defensively (or gotten as poor of goaltending) as that night, but the level of energy and offensive execution were similar. Add in the fact that this was on home ice and the Flyers were playing in front of their rookie goalie and it just about evens out on the pathetic scale.
Point 6: This is a lost season.
Neither Jones nor Jackson outright said this, but their comments definitely suggested it. I'll go ahead and throw it out there - short-term, nothing is going to get better. Salvaging this season is not possible. With the loss, Philadelphia falls to 30th in the NHL (1 point ahead of Ottawa with 1 game in hand). I love the Flyers as much as anyone, but I'm ready to admit it - it's time to start rooting for this team to lose. The short term pain will be worth the long term payoff.
Assuming the Blackhawks don't steal the top pick from us like 2007.
Believe it or not, Vladimir Tarasenko's goal tonight was his first ever against the Flyers. Philadelphia becomes the final team (other than St. Louis) for Tarasenko to score against in his NHL career.
Binnington becomes the first goalie (and 35th of all-time) to record a shutout in his first NHL start since Garret Sparks of Toronto. Sparks recorded a 3-0 blanking of Edmonton back on November 30, 2015.
Despite the shutout, Binnington probably wasn't the best goalie on the ice. Carter Hart stopped 34 of 36 (the 3rd goal was an ENG), and despite looking as calm as ever, he did make some incredible athletic saves. At a solid .909 SV% through 7 games, Hart is proving he belongs in the NHL.
The only two skaters I'd regard as having good nights were the Travii (Konecny and Sanheim). Both were coming off goals on Saturday, and both played a strong game. Sanheim was notable for creating some good scoring chances, whereas Konecny's effort and determination was noticeable, especially playing around a team without much of either.
Gritty doing the Bird Box Challenge only to re-name it after Cody Parkey is the best thing that has happened to this team since October. Tell me I'm wrong.
With the second half of a back-to-back, it appears the Flyers are gonna do the thing. GOALIE NUMBER SEVEN, COME ON DOWN!
Here's the best link I could find for the audio I broke down above: https://twitter.com/JohanGartner/status/1082485858060693506
1st - B. Schenn (STL) - 1 G
2nd - J. Binnington (STL) - 1.000 SV% (25 Saves/25 Shots), 1st NHL W
3rd - J. Schwartz (STL) - 1 A
PHI - 1/8 @ WSH (25-12-4)
STL - 1/8 vs. DAL (22-17-4)