Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 55: ANA 2, PHI 6 - Duck Hunt
*Holds up heads of Ryan Getzlaf, Chad Johnson, Randy Carlyle, and Bob Murray*
Yeah, I'd say that was a pretty good haul.
Orange and black beats orange and black, as the Philadelphia Flyers WIN in dominant fashion, 6-2, over the Anaheim Not-So Mighty Ducks, becoming the 5th team this season to earn points in 10 straight games (9-0-1).
After a deserved but still heartbreaking loss to a bottom-feeding Californina team, the Flyers had the chance for revenge on Saturday. Granted, the Ducks and Kings are trending in two different directions. LA is a solid 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, whereas Anaheim has now lost 7 games and is staring straight in the face of playing themselves right into a new coach, and maybe even a new GM. Though for them, that might be for the best.
While the first period wound up setting the tone for the Flyers dominant afternoon, it didn't always look positive. Just over a minute in, Jakub Silfverberg took advantage of a pinching Robert Hagg and stormed in on a breakaway. Carter Hart's usual kryptonite turned into his specialty on this occasion however and he made a strong glove save, ensuring the Ducks would not get on the board first.
From there, it was a massacre. Phil Varone scored on a beautiful below the goalline feed from Michael Raffl. Elite 1st line center Sean Couturier scored on a double-doink wrister. Oh look, the Ducks have a power play and a chance to gain some momentum - physc, here's a 2-on-1 shorthanded goal for the Austrian Rocket Michael Raffl. And to cap it all off, Oskar Lindblom tips in a Coots pass off his skate. Bang, bang, bang, bang. That was the game for Chad Johnson, who was replaced by Kevin Boyle at the start of the 2nd period. Boyle becomes the 2nd NJ-born goalie in the NHL, with the other (Anthony Stolarz) watching him on from the Flyers bench.
And the game was pretty much over from there. Yes, Anaheim scored a couple of power plays goals and was within 2 goals with 15:00 minutes left in the 3rd. But the Ducks looked absolutely awful in this game, especially in their in-zone coverage. They were flat, lacked emotion, and eerily reminded me of the Flyers right before they fired Dave Hakstol. Anaheim is playing like a team desperate for change, and the way things have been going, they are about to get some. Each of the 7 straight games they have lost have been by 3 or more goals, including embarassing 9-3 and 6-1 blowouts to Winnipeg and Toronto, respectively.
Of course, the Flyers had to be careful they didn't choke things away. Carter Hart was great once again, but the Flyers decided to give their young goalie some help down the stretch. Leave it up to the second PP unit, which has looked a lot better since adding Sean Couturier, as Nolan Patrick squeaked a backhander through Boyle to put the game out of reach. TK batted home a rebound goal with less than 2 minutes to go for good measure. Fitting that today was kids day at the Wells Fargo Center, because it was the Flyers youth that led to this commanding victory, keeping Philadelphia the hottest team in the NHL.
You may have noticed that this is a different section than normal. That's because the Flyers Saturday off the ice was just as eventful as it was on it. But because school is a thing, we're going to recap the Flyers transaction swarm in here instead of another article.
The Philadelphia Flyers traded RW Dale Weise and D Christian Folin to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for D David Schlemko and C Byron Froese. Overall, it's a pretty even trade. The Flyers get an overpaid but ok defenseman in Schlemko, who's currently buried in the minors but on the whole looks to be a solid 7th defenseman at the NHL level. Frose was the captain of Laval (Montreal's AHL team), and has 30 points in 46 AHL games, as well as a little bit of NHL experience with the Habs and Toronto. Froese is a pending UFA making $650,000 on a one-way deal; Schlemko makes $2.1 million ($1.025 currently buried) through next season.
In exchange for those two assets, the Flyers send Weise back to his most successful NHL setting - Weise was a fan favorite depth piece for Montreal from 2013-2016, and is responsible for 3 playoff game-winning goals as a Hab. Folin is a decent 7th defenseman that got off to a decent start in Philly, but never fell into favor with Scott Gordon. Weise makes $2.35 through next season ($1 million buried); Folin is at $650,000 and a pending UFA. In terms of skill and salary, this trade is as even as it gets.
This trade does a couple of things for the Flyers. First off, they dump off Weise, a player who Fletcher was not part of the team's future, without having to retain any salary. Second, Fletcher rids his Flyers of yet another one of the depth pieces Ron Hextall was so fond of, joining players like Lehtera and Weal.
Another one of those depth pieces was Corban Knight. Injured since November, Knight was put on waivers Saturday morning, as he is close to returning from a collarbone injury. This, and the Weise trade, were part of a bigger picture, one that Flyers fans have been wanting for a long time. Phil Myers is a Flyer, baby!
Since signing his ELC with the Flyers back in 2015, Myers has risen from undrafted free agent to top prospect. Myers is known for his great instincts with the puck and ability to use his 6'5'' frame to his advantage in the defensive zone. Myers has great upside, and projects to be at least a top-4 defenseman for the Flyers for years to come. He did not play Saturday, but in all likelihood he will make his NHL debut on Monday against the Penguins.
1st - S. Couturier (PHI) - 1 G, 2 A
2nd - M. Raffl (PHI) - 1 G, 1 A
3rd - P. Varone (PHI) - 1 G, 1 A
ANA - 2/13 vs. VAN (24-24-7)
PHI - 2/11 vs. PIT (28-19-7)