James van Reimsdyk was back in the orange and black, Carter Hart made his first appearance of the season, our vets looked as sharp as ever, and the Flyers got a win at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia Flyers Hockey is back in Philadelphia and, my friends, it was a good day.
The Flyers kicked things off with a slow start and a penalty just 36 seconds into the game. While Mikhail Vorobyev sat in the penalty box for hooking, we all collectively held our breaths as we entered last year’s danger zone: The penalty kill. Notoriously one of the Flyers’ weakest spots, we braced for the worst and then it…. didn’t come. The penalty was killed, and quite effectively at that. Crazy, right? We can confirm that this is, indeed, crazy, but it’s a crazy we can get used to.
Besides his penalty, Vorobyev had an extremely solid game. His speed, skill and hockey sense were evident throughout the whole game, making his argument for the third line center position very compelling. It definitely helps his case that he notched the first goal of the game, too, with assists from Provorov and Voracek.
Seriously though, did you see those passes? Absolutely beautiful.
The game progressed as usual and then in the blink of an eye, Tyrell Goulbourne dropped the gloves with Islanders left wing Ross Johnston. Goulbourne gave it his all, but ultimately lost the fight to Johnston. Despite Goulbourne losing, the crowd went nuts and his fight gave the Flyers a much needed spark to get the ball rolling.
After multiple consecutive Islanders penalties, the game ended up as a 5-on-3. From this chaos came a Shayne Gostisbehere power play goal, and boy was it a beauty. Claude Giroux and JVR were credited with the assists.
The start of the second period was stressful, to say the least. Michal Neuvirth tried to poke check an Islanders player and failed, causing a few moments of panic while the net was completely open.
After our heart rates returned to normal, Ghost sent them skyrocketing again as he netted his second power play goal of the night, with assists from Giroux and Voracek. Gostisbehere was a man on a mission tonight, and nothing could stop him.
Speaking of men on a mission, Ghost wasn’t the only one tonight. Both Weal and Voracek were out for blood. Coming off of a career season, I’m glad to see that Voracek isn’t lightening up, because he is so important to this team. Weal isn’t oblivious, he understands that the race for the third line center position is very tight between him, Laughton and Vorobyev. Weal made sure to play a strong two-way game tonight, flanked by Giroux and Abue-Kubel.
Around the 11 minute mark of the second period, Islander’s Michael Sislo scored on Michal Neuvirth. Immediately after Neuvirth let the goal in, he was replaced by Carter Hart, who received some of the loudest cheers of the night.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 18, 2018
Chants of “We love Carter” filled the arena as the budding superstar of sorts took his place in the crease. The defense played solid for remainder of the period, which meant Hart didn’t see much action. Though the crowd went wild when he made his first simple, routine save.
Hart played the third period in net as well, and things were smooth sailing from there. The Flyers walk away from the game with a well deserved win, 3-1.
The main takeaways from the game are:
- Voracek, Gostisbehere, and Weal looked really good.
- The power play is looking sharp.
- Vorobeyev is absolutely deserving of his spot in the race for third line center, and if he keeps playing the way he is, he’s going to find himself on the roster on Opening Night.
- Abue-Kubel showed a lot of smart physicalities tonight.
- Provorov-Myers played exceptional as a pair.
- The penalty kill looked MUCH better than last year and was very solid throughout the game.
The Flyers will play the Islanders again today in New York at 7 p.m.
Lines for today’s game:
Lindblom – Patrick – Konecny
Martel – Varone – Carey
Twarynski – Rubtsov – McDonald
Raffl – Lehtera – Leier
Brennan – Friedman
Palmquist – Folin
de Haas – Willcox
[Photo credit: Heather Barry/@HeatherM_Barry]