Finding Bright Spots in the Flyers’ Shutout Loss against the Wild

Len Redkoles | NHLI via Getty Images

The Flyers put 32 shots on net in Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, but couldn’t find twine. On the other hand, the Wild managed to put one past goaltender Brian Elliott once on their 27 shots.

On the bright side, I can walk away from this loss (for the first time in a while) and not complain about the goaltending. Elliott actually played a great game; including one of the best saves of the season.

How bout that save? While he is not the long-term solution that fans are dying for, he had a damn good game Saturday night. More games like this, please?

What needs to be talked about, however, is the fact that the Flyers couldn’t find a way to net one puck on 32 shots. Elliott kept his team in the game after allowing a strange goal, the Flyers needed to pick him up and couldn’t find a way to do so.

The chances were there; the Flyers went 0-3 on the power play, and had another 90 seconds of six-on-five hockey. The Flyers played tough even strength and penalty kill situations (3-0 PK) as well, they just couldn’t find a way to get the puck past Devan Dubnyk.

But give credit where it’s due – the Wild played a good game tonight. They played well on defense, their goaltending was spotless, and they capitalized when they needed to. The Flyers didn’t get it done on offense tonight.

Now that the obvious is out of the way, let’s look at a few more bright spots. I counted two (three if you count Brian Elliott’s performance). Sean Couturier and Ivan Provorov played exceptional tonight for what it’s worth.

Couturier sits at 19 points on the season (10 goals, 9 assists), and led the Flyers in ice time on Saturday night with 24:07 and tied for the team lead in shots with six. The Flyers are clearly leaning on their newfound top-line center. He is creating on offense and giving the first-line a defensive force as well. His game is as complete as it’s ever been and he deserves credit. He really pulled a 180 from the enigmatic “love him/ hate him” guy we’ve come to know. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out for the 24-year old.

This leads me to the second highlight of the night: Ivan Provorov.

Simple, yet true. Provorov is the best defender on the roster, hands down. Check out how he handles this rush.

Provorov currently has eight points (two goals, six assists) and finished third in ice time in Saturday’s game at 23:27. The Flyers think very highly of their second-year defenseman, they rely on him in any situation. For good reason, he plays exceptionally well and has an incredibly high hockey IQ. It wouldn’t shock me to see him be an alternate captain in a year. He’s that good.

Despite being on the wrong side of a shutout, the Flyers still played a good game. They generated a lot of pressure but couldn’t finish. It’s something to build on moving forward. The Orange and Black take on the Wild in a revenge game on Tuesday at 8:00 P.M. in Minnesota.

You can follow Anthony Mazziotti on Twitter (@AntMazziotti) and e-mail him at Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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