Walsh's Weekly Fly By
Welcome to the start of a new weekly blog where we are talking about my favorite Philly Sports team the Philadelphia Flyers. Each week I'm going to post about how the team looked and my thoughts about how they played. We will talk about things I liked and things I didn't, players that performed well and players that absolutely sucked. There will be no holding back when it comes to addressing the teams performance. So, let's get right into it....
The NHL season is in full swing...well for most teams at least. As for the Flyers they have had a strange schedule as they started their season in the Czech Republic came home for one game then headed out to western Canada. That is a whole lot of traveling to start the season as they had to play in three different time zones. Every year it seems like the Flyers have a pretty rough schedule to start and this year was no different. They have played five games so far which is the 2nd lowest amount behind the Rangers and Blackhawks who have only played 4 games to this point. Well how did they play in those first five games? Let's take a closer look.
10/4 vs Chicago(4-3)-Win
10/9 vs New Jersey(4-0)-Win
10/12 @Vancouver(3-2)-Shootout Loss
Well, they are officially 2-2-1 to start the season after starting off with two great wins they dropped their next three. Now, they went through a lot of changes during the offseason with the new coach and some new players coming in so you kind of figured they might not fully be clicking early on. Some people may not agree but out of the five games they have played so far I think they looked pretty good in all but one of them. The first two games of the season I didn't have any complaints the Blackhawks game was back and forth the entire time and they played well and picked up the win. Against the Devils, they absolutely dominated which was huge to me because it was the home opener and they actually showed up to play unlike last year when they lost 8-2 in the first home game. It was nice to see them actually play well in front of the home fans. Then when they got out west things started to change a little bit. The Canucks scored early on in the game and the Flyers didn't come out with as much jump as they had in the first two games. The positive was that they were able climb back in and tie the game and get it to the shootout and gain a point. Side note, shootouts are the dumbest thing that has ever happened to hockey and I really hope they get rid of them.
Next came the Calgary game, and my god this one was an absolute dud. The Flames scored a little over a minute into the game and the Flyers gave Brian Elliott no help in his first game of the season. The score showed 3-1 but it easily could have been a lot worse had Elliott not played as well as he did. It was a quick turnaround for the boys as the next night they laced them up against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers....This was a weird one for sure once again they allowed an early goal just over a minute into the game on a shot that Carter Hart normally saves. From the start he didn't look like himself as he just wasn't making the saves he normally does. Besides that, the Flyers pretty much dominated the game, they fired 52 shots on net and only managed 3 goals two of which didn't come until late in the 3rd period. The biggest issue was when the Flyers had their chances they didn't convert them to goals and when the Oilers had their chances they scored. While the result didn't go in their favor and the score looks a lot worse than how they played there were still a lot of positives to take out of that game.
Travis Konecny- After holding out for a short period of time TK has come into this season on fire. He is getting a boatload of chances and leads the team in points with 3 goals and 4 assist. His speed has been deadly and he has shown that he is starting to become a legit goal scorer in the league. If he keeps this up its very possible he could have 30 goals this year.
Carter Hart- Other than the bad game in Edmonton the other night, Carter Hart is already proving that he is the Flyers answer in goal. The kid is incredible, he has been making the saves you need him to make and he's even making saves that you don't think he could make. If you haven't seen it because you live under a rock, go back and watch his save against the Devils. The Edmonton game obviously wasn't great but I have full confidence that he will have a great bounce back game his next time out.
Tyler Pitlick-This guy missed just about all of camp and the preseason with an injury but was ready to go for game 1 of the season. He has been very impressive so far as every time he is on the ice he is doing exactly what you want him to do and that is bring the energy. He is throwing his weight around when he can and has even had some decent scoring chances. Hopefully he stays healthy and provides this type of energy all year long.
Matt Niskanen-I was not a fan of him starting the season instead of Myers, but man has he played out of his mind. He has been the best defenseman we have had this year so far. He is breaking up a lot of plays and has been great at helping get the puck out of our own end. Even more so, he has contributed on the offensive side more than I thought he would. It's been a nice surprise seeing Niskanen play the way he has because I was not very high on him to start.
Jake Voracek- I am so ready to give up on Jake and ship him somewhere else, he is beyond frustrating to watch. Yes, he scored two goals the other night against Edmonton...But it's stuff like that which bothers me the most. He scored two goals after we were down by four with like 6 minutes left in the game. I need him scoring more meaningful goals, he has so much potential to put up huge numbers and every year he lets us down. He's not much help defensively either, dude turns the puck over so much and the amount of dumb behind the back/no look passes he makes is insane. Voracek needs to really step it up and quick because if not, he may not be here much longer.
Shayne Gostisbehere- This was a tough one to put on here, I love Ghost I really do, he is one of my favorite Flyers but he has really been struggling. Last year I could cut him some slack as he was coming off an injury but this year there is no excuse. He needs to play better it's just that simple. He has to do a better job of getting the puck out of our own end and needs to start producing on offense as well. I really thought he would have a strong start to this season after how he played last year but so far it hasn't been anywhere close to great.
10/19 vs Dallas Stars
10/21 vs Vegas Golden Knights
10/24 @Chicago Blackhawks
10/26 vs Columbus Blue Jackets
10/27 @New York Islanders
10/29 @Pittsburgh Penguins
Overall, after starting 2-0 its not great to be 2-2-1 now. But, I am more confident this team will bounce back. They have a coach that won't tolerate the slow starts and the lack of effort and he has made that clear. They have looked a lot better to start the season then I have seen in years past. The biggest thing I have noticed is how fast they are playing, they actually look like a team that can compete with anyone. Alain Vigneault has a system in place that looks like it will work and I believe that it will. Hopefully during next weeks Fly By we are talking about how great they looked. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed! LETS GO FLYERS!!!