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Philadelphia Flyers Game 1 Recap

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The Flyers Start with a Mixed Bag

The Flyers opened the 2021-2022 season at the Farg. The team has not opened a season at home since 2013 and what a year to break the trend. For the first time since the pause in 2020 the Flyers got to play in front of a raucous crowd. An intense crowd waiting to see a new look team with what on paper looks to be a new identity. Unfortunately, for Flyers fans the team was without new defensive addition and self-proclaimed “Piece of shit-on the ice” Rasmus Ristolainen, who is dealing with an upper body injury described as ‘day-to-day’ and not serious by the team. This was an injury added toward the middle of the week after Risto had missed three practices. Additionally, as no surprise Kevin “Hollywood” Hayes was placed on the LTIR while recovering from the core muscle surgery he had in September. During the pre-game festivities when announced, Hollywood, received what a wrestling fan would call a “Road Warrior pop”. A loud applause given when someone is announced or makes their way to the ring. Vs. The Canucks

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The Flyers opened up the game with a dominating first period really controlling all aspects of the game. For those of us who endured 2020-2021 this was a refreshing change and a hope that we had just turned the page on a season like no other. The period ended with a 1-0 flyers lead brought on by a crazy ricochet from a Young Beezer (Joel Farabee) blast which ended up off the Tendy’s pad, off the defensemans skate, and in the back of the net. The Flyers really controlled the game the entire first period. If only the game had ended there… The 10-5 shot advantage and the 5-2 “High danger” advantage would all but reverse in period two. During the second period the Canucks would pot 4 goals in what can only be described as a team collapse. Podkolzin walked right into a danger area and ripped a snipe over Hart’s glove and that creeping feeling that nothing had changed with the team despite a major roster overhaul set in. Those feelings were verified when the flyers went on the penalty kill and the unit continued to show that they leave a lot to be desired. A shot that went throw a screen then took a strange bounce off the boards and goes in off the back of Hart’s skate is just bad luck. Another fluke goal had the Flyers fans reeling about how Hart, the promised one, the one to solve our issues just isn’t the one. The flyers potted one goal in the second to stave of the onslaught closing out a dreadful second period 4-2. The Third Period

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About 80% of the third period was played with a similar lackluster team performance as the second. Vancouver was able to play a bit of keep-away for most of the period. They outshot the flyers 13-6, had 8 scoring chances to the fly-guys 3, and 2 High danger opportunities to the flyers 0. The difference is that Hart did not let any of those in and with 3 minutes left they go empty net. A quick power-play goal from Konecny breathed life not just into the team, the crowd in attendance, but anyone who felt “new season same result”. About 2 minutes from Konecny’s goal Giroux was able to one-time a beautifully placed indirect pass from Coots (sp.?), Couts? Anyway G was able to one-time that pass and bank a shot off of Demko to tie the game. A STOLEN POINT. "3 vs. 3" OT Ain’t what it used to be The regular regroups at the blue line to tire out a unit may be ok strategy but it is not exciting hockey. It worked to an extent when the Canucks were able to hold the Lindblom-Laughton-Ellis line out there for 2+ minutes or as described in my house “FOR-EV-ER”. AV’s choice to even roll that line at all is a bit suspect. Hart was excellent in overtime stopping everything that came his way. –the flyers would go on to lose in a skills competition following overtime play. At the end of the day the team was able to steal a point in a game that they really gave away. Let’s Talk About Hart As a co-host of the #1podcast hosted by former Archbishop Ryan goaltenders “Tendys on Pattison”. I spent a lot of time discussing Hart in the off-season of 2020. As a former goalie I at times will find ways to show why it is never our fault when the puck goes in. When 2020 quickly went down the toilet I was unable to do much of that for Hart. The team was not good which was why it was overhauled but Hart himself would probably tell you that he had a bad season. This game was not that season. You really had some bad puck luck here and even the 4th goal, the one he would really like to have back, was a bit of a fluke and strange play. We can argue about the ref blowing the whistle when he lost sight of the puck which he had to of but it does not matter it ended up being a goal. All of that being said. The guy battled, he fought hard, and in terms of goals, was perfect in the third and overtime despite facing some really good chances. Depending on how analytics driven you are the expected goals against was 3.45. So he was really close to on the money. We would like to see the save % over 90 but I am not discouraged by the player I saw last night. There is a lot of hockey to play With 81 games left we should not forget that it is a long season. We want so bad to go from mediocre to good and get away from the every other year playoff trend the flyers have been on for a decade. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with too high or too low. There are concerns about offensive depth until Hayes comes off of the LTIR. But all things considered with how the second period went there could be worse punishments than getting a point in the standings. In the short term the PK unit is not good enough to get dumb penalties let alone go down 5-3. The PK simply has to get better or the team will find itself in tough situations regularly. Article written by Jack Griffin of Driveway Athletes. Twitter- @Jgriff8977 @Drivewayathlet1

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