Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 82: CAR 4, PHI 3 - Thank U, Next
In their final game of the 2018-19 season, the Philadelphia Flyers lose, 4-3, to the playoff bound Carolina Hurricanes. On that final note, this disappointing yet thrilling season comes to a merciful but truly sad end.
A quick recap of the game. Mark Friedman was called up for his NHL debut, with Phil Myers being sent down-wait am I reading this right? Yes, Phil Myers was sent down, but in fairness, it was likely done to help the Phantoms with their Calder Cup playoff push. Though for them to make it, they'll need the miracle the Flyers didn't quite get. Friedman played pretty well, moving the puck quickly and efficiently. He also made Flyers history by being the first Flyer to wear #59.
Anyway, the Flyers slow starts reared their ugly head again. Carolina got two quick goals on Carter Hart, neither of which were his fault, because Carter Hart cannot do anything wrong. Fortunately, Travie Sanheim found a red-hot Oskar Lindblom, who extended his goal streak to three with a beautiful forehand-backhand tally. Unfortunately, Teuvo Teravainen buried his own rebound a few minutes later, giving the Canes a 3-1 lead after one.
Now that the game was past the first period, the Flyers started to try. Travis Konecny walked into the slot and beat Curtis McElhinney with a perfectly placed wrist shot, tying his goal scoring mark from last year with his 24th tally. A few minutes ago, with the Flyers on the power play (and Claude Giroux back on the left side!), elite 1st line center deflected home a career-high 33rd goal of the season, tying the game 3-3.
It didn't take long for the tie to be broken. Not by the right team, of course (though maybe it was, if your main focus was the lottery). A pass to the point by the Canes deflected right onto Jordan Staal's tape. Carter Hart could've had the speed of the light, but there was no way he was going to be able to recover from the sudden change of direction, and Carolina went back ahead 4-3.
To their credit, the Flyers did not mail in their final 20 minutes of hockey. In fact, they limited Carolina to just one shot on goal (I feel fairly confident in saying that's a season low, or at least tied for one). They also put a lot of pressure on McElhinney and the Hurricanes excellent defense, but were unable to break through. The horn sounded one final time, with the Flyers never able to tie the score.
It's over. It's finally over. This crazy, roller coaster, wild, intense, frusturating, joyous, nerve-racking season is finally over. What a trip. Thirty-eight different players took the ice wearing the orange and black this campaign. Eight of them were goalies, a new NHL record. The Flyers fired two coaches, their GM, and an assistant GM this season. Fan-favorite Wayne Simmonds was shipped off at the trade deadline. That's a lot of change for 82 games.
Imagine how much could happen over 181 days without a game.
One hundred and eighty-one days. That's the amount of days between Saturday night and October 4th, 2019, when the Flyers begin their 53rd campaign against Chicago in Prague, Czech Republic. A lot can, and will, happen, between now and then. No matter what changes are made, the Philadelphia Flyers will come back. They will be bigger, better, faster, stronger, more ready than ever before. Next year may not be the year. But it will be new. Different. Better. Really, what else can you ask for?
The future is bright, Flyers fans. I know losing is tough. This season was a struggle. But someday, it will be worth it. Giroux, Hart, Couturier, Provorov, Gostisbehere, Voracek, and Konecny make up one of the youngest and greatest cores in the NHL that can only be improved upon this offseason. Next year is going to be a blast. That's not a guarantee. But sometimes you just have a feeling. This is one of those times.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read these FFRs and all the other content that we (I) produced this season. There will be more in the offseason. Some of it will be Flyers related - you can expect NHL playoff, draft, and free agency analysis, as well as Phillies content (more wins=more articles). Just like it was for the Flyers, this season was a learning experience. And come next fall, these articles will be back, bigger, better, and all that good stuff.
For the future of the Philadelphia Flyers and this blog, I will ask you one final time: are you ready?
I know I am.
At the conclusion of every regular season, the Philadephia Flyers hand out a series of awards to honor the best of that year's squad. Here are the winners for this year's team.
Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award (Flyer with Character, Dignity, & Respect On and Off the Ice) - Andrew MacDonald^
Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy (Most Improved) - Travis Sanheim*
Barry Ashbee Trophy (Most Outstanding Defenseman) - Radko Gudas
Toyota Cup (Flyer With the Most Points from Being Selected as a "Star of the Game" Throughout the Season) - Carter Hart
Gene Hart Memorial Award (Flyer Who Demonstrates the Most "Heart") - Sean Couturier
Bobby Clarke Trophy (MVP) - Sean Couturier
^Voted on by the Philadelphia Chapter of the PHWA
* Voted on by Teammates
Final Lottery Update
The Philadelphia Flyers are currently in place to have the 10th selection in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. They have a 3.5% chance of winning the #1 overall pick, and an 11.4% chance of winning a lottery, and therefore a top 3 pick, per Tankathon.com. This also means they can pick no lower than 13. The 10th worst team has never won a lottery under the current draft format. Someone's due - might as well be us.
If you're looking for some postivity on that front, consider this. In the 2016-17 season, the Flyers missed the playoffs, ending the season with a 4-3 loss at home to the Carolina Hurricanes. They overcame odds of less than 12% to select in the top 3, winding up with the number two selection. We already found lightning can strike twice this season. Why not again?
The 2019 NHL Draft Lottery Selection takes place on Tuesday, April 9th, at 8 PM EST. It can be seen on NBCSN, Sportsnet, and TVA Sports. May the odds be ever in our favor.
1st - The Fans (the best in sports)
2nd - Carter Hart (the best boi)
3rd - Gritty (the best mascot)
CAR - ECQF Gm 1 @ WSH
PHI - 10/4/19 vs. CHI (0-0-0)