After a 10-game losing streak, the Philadelphia Flyers have put together a couple of impressive wins in a row against two tough Canadian opponents. The Flyers defeated the Calgary Flames, 5-2, on Monday night and doubles up the Edmonton Oiler, 4-2, on Wednesday night.
After a complacent ten games, Flyers coach Dave Hakstol finally mixed some things up. The defensive pairings stayed the same, but the Flyers have a new-look offense… for now. After rolling with Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek on the top line for the whole season so far, Hakstol split them up, and it has paid dividends.
Giroux and Couturier got to stay together but they added Wayne Simmonds and Voracek dropped down a line to play with Michael Raffl and Valtteri Filppula. Nolan Patrick also got some new line mates in Dale Weise and Travis Konecny and the fourth line now consists of Taylor Leier, Scott Laughton and Jordan Weal.
Wednesday night against the Oilers, the Flyers got four goals from members of three different lines. Weal, Weise, Raffl and Simmonds (empty net) all put the puck in the net and after a few months of the top line carrying the team, they are finally getting depth scoring. In addition to that, in the win against the Flames, Laughton potted two goals en route to a five-goal outburst with help of Simmonds, Filppula and Raffl.
Despite breaking up the top line, Hakstol seems to have rejuvenated a Flyers team that was lacking serious energy with spreading the talent around. This team still has a far way to go seeing as they are 10-11-7 and last in the Metropolitan Division, but the season isn’t even halfway over yet. And we’ve seen just how hot teams can go far in the playoffs in the spring, so the season isn’t a lose cause at all yet.
If the Flyers want to turn it around permanently, they are going to continue to need to get depth scoring from places they aren’t expecting it and their big guys to continue to produce. This team has the talent, young and seasoned, let’s see if they can put it together and make a run after going winless in 10 straight. They are on the right track with two straight wins away from home.
The Flyers are right back at it against the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night. The last time these teams met, the Flyers lost 5-2 at home. But with confidence brewing, they’ll be expecting a different result this time around.