Flyers

All good things must come to an end: Hurricanes top the Flyers 4-1

LEN REDKOLES | NHLI VIA GETTY IMAGES

Stab me with a spoon.

Everyone had to know the Flyers were going to lose a game after last month’s astonishing run. I just thought they would show a little more fight than the beatdown the Hurricanes laid on them Thursday night.

Former Flyer and current Flyer-killer Justin Williams opened the scoring in the first period; he tipped the puck past Petr Mrazek after he didn’t get all of Jeff Skinner’s shot. The Flyers dominated the second half of the first period with nothing to show for it.

The Hurricanes put two goals up in the second period to extend their lead to three goals. Their leading scorer Teuvo Teravainen scored on a four-on-four about six minutes into the period. Six minutes later Justin Williams potted his second of the night. Just like the first period, the Flyers ended the second period with a flurry and took momentum into the third.

At the second intermission I tweeted this:

The Flyers were getting outplayed by a team that was ninth in the Eastern Conference heading into Thursday’s game. The Hurricanes wanted it more and it was obvious 40 minutes into the game. The Orange and Black needed some juice early in the third period. And they got it. Travis Konecny scored just over a minute into the period.

TK is good at hockey. Fact.

The Flyers had a power play with 7:58 left in regulation. A goal in this situation would have been huge for the momentum of the game. Unfortunately the Hurricanes killed off the penalty with ease and Sebastian Aho sniped Mrazek to put the game on ice. The Hurricanes inched closer to the final wildcard spot and the Capitals hold a one point lead over the Flyers for the top seed in the Metro.

Thursday night’s game was mediocre at best, here are five takeaways:

1. Petr Mrazek is human after all.

Mrazek didn’t put up half the performance he put up on Monday against the Canadiens. He looked human at times and super human at other times. It makes me wonder what Dave Hakstol will do on Saturday, will he play Mrazek against the Lightning, or will he save him for Sunday’s game against the Panthers? I doubt he plays the back-to-back. If I were a betting man I’d expect to see Alex Lyon on Sunday against the Panthers. This could be good for Mrazek, it will give him a little break after starting what will be five straight. Speaking of breaks…

2. Brandon Manning needs one.

Manning looked bad on Thursday night. This isn’t me hating, it’s true. Save for the one play in garbage time where he got the puck out of the crease behind Mrazek he was a liability on ice.

Lucky for the Flyers, they brought in a veteran defenseman at the trade deadline in the event someone needed a breather. Enter Johnny Oduya. I expect the two-time Stanley Cup winner to make his Flyers debut this weekend in Florida. Preferably on Saturday.

3. The Weals were off.

Jordan Weal was given the night off. The second line was Lindblom-Patrick-Voracek, the third line was Raffl-Laughton-Leier, the fourth line was Lehtera-Filppula-Weise.

I know Weal has been struggling offensively recently, so I can see why he was scratched. This is something to monitor moving forward. It makes you wonder how long he will be on the bench. This goes hand in hand with the fourth takeaway…

4. Loyal to the fourth line.

Hakstol is incredibly loyal to that Lehtera-Filppula-Weise line. This line actually started the game.

Lehtera or Weise are constantly starting which has always blown my mind, they aren’t elite defenders and they combine for 13 points. If I were Hak, I would give Weal some of their minutes instead of keeping him on the bench. This is all assuming Weal is out for an extended period of time.

That said, I’ll end the takeaways on a positive note:

5. The first line is lethal.

I don’t think I can stress enough how much I love the Giroux-Couturier-Konecny. The three of them gel so well and are in sync always. TK’s goal was the epitome of what makes that line tick. Whenever 28-14-11 are on the ice together it is so worth watching. Konecny is electric on the ice with and without the puck, Couturier should win the Selke, and Giroux should be in Hart Trophy talks, he has 75 points after Thursday’s game.

As I previously mentioned, the Flyers return to action Saturday afternoon against the Lightning.

 


You can follow Anthony Mazziotti on Twitter (@AntMazziotti) and e-mail him at anthonymazziottiwriting@gmail.com.

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