Thursday in Philadelphia was a great day for sports fans. After a 52 year drought, the Philadelphia Eagles paraded down Broad Street with the Lombardi Trophy, highlighted by an epic speech by Jason Kelce.
Alas, as night fell on Philly, it was the Flyers’ turn to join in on the celebration.
Philly hosted the Montreal Canadiens, who had amassed only 50 points in 54 games so far this season. Maybe it was the parade, but the Flyers’ big guns showed up in this one to eventually down the Habs, 5-3.
Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere each put up three points in the win, one goal and two assists for the captain and three assists for Ghost. In addition to that, the Flyers got two goals from Travis Konecny, one from Jake Voracek and an empty netter from Ivan Provorov. It was a Flyers fan’s dream to see all of those guys get points and contribute offensively.
Dave Hakstol has gotten a lot of criticism this season, a fair share of it last season, for the way he’s handled the youngsters and the veterans. To the delight of many, Konecny has scored 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in the past 10 games playing alongside with Giroux and Couturier. Hakstol seems to have put together a great top nine for the Flyers to continue to push them into the playoffs.
As he has the last few games, Nolan Patrick started on the second line with Voracek and Wayne Simmonds but ended up getting demoted to the fourth line with Dale Weise and Jori Lehterä while Valtteri Filppula got bumped to the second line before the game ended.
Patrick did take a holding penalty and has had an issue with his discipline in regards to penalties this year; he has had 10 penalty minutes in his last five games and it seems like Hakstol is trying to send a message.
Patrick clearly has the talent to anchor the second line or even the top line eventually, but Hakstol seemingly wants him to work on his discipline to continue to earn his playing time instead of having it handed to him.
The Flyers were able to keep their spot in the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with the win and put themselves within two points of the Penguins, who are second place in the Metro. There are only 28 games remaining in the regular season, but the Flyers currently have a three-point cushion over the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders, who are battling it out for the final playoff spot.
The Flyers are back on the ice Saturday night in Arizona against the last place Coyotes. The Flyers will need to continue to play above their competition if they want to see some postseason hockey.
Highlights from Flyers/Canadiens below.