Flyers Sweep Sabres; Carter Hart bounces back from Forgettable Lake Tahoe game
Getting embarrassed in a nationally televised game isn’t fun for any franchise, especially when half of your team is in covid protocol. With the memories of Lake Tahoe in the rearview mirror, the Flyers put up back-to-back shutouts, one from each of their goalies, to improve to 11-4-3 on the season.
Game 1 vs Buffalo
After the Lake Tahoe game, the Flyers have outshot their opponents 116-78 (3 games). The Flyers new found shoot-first mentality was especially noticeable in the second period, outshooting Buffalo 15-8.
Sanheim, who’s been playing with so much confidence since returning from the covid list, finds the loose puck in the slot and finds a waiting Couturier who makes no mistake to get the Flyers off and running. Couturier has four points (2G-2A) in his last three games.
Gostisbehere, another defenseman who’s playing with a ton of confidence right now, scored a beauty in the second period to extend his team’s lead to 2-0. Looks like vintage Ghost out there.
It’s not shown in this gif but the backhand pass by JVR to find Ghost was ridiculous. How good has JVR been this year?
Scott Laughton loves to score on the breakaway. He had his incredible game-tying goal in Game 6 to help force a Game 7 last year vs the Islanders and he had another vintage Scott Laughton goal Saturday.
Let’s talk about Brian Elliott. A player that Carter Hart advocated in the off-season to come back because of how much he’s helped him with the development and the everyday tasks of being a starting goalie in the NHL. 5-1, 2.03 GAA & a .931 save percentage. He’s come in when Harts been rocky a couple of times this season and been steady. Timely saves, after timely saves. Brian Elliott has been of the best backup goalies in the league the last 2 seasons and he’s been doing it quietly.
Yeah, the Sabres were without Eichel on Saturday but honestly, I couldn’t care less about that excuse in the world we’re in right now. The Flyers just had to travel to a lake without half of their team and play Boston with two natural defensemen playing forward ….ON THE SAME LINE. Every team has had to deal with Covid and work through the problems that it brings, the Flyers aren’t alone. But I’m not about to sit here and listen to people discredit a win. A win is a win, a shutout is a shutout.
Mark that down as Elliotts 42nd career shutout.
Game 2 vs Buffalo (3-0)
Honestly, I was a little nervous coming into this game. Buffalo has been bad all season but they still have some skilled players on that team that can make you look silly if you’re not paying attention. After getting shutout and having a solid third period for momentum to carry into the next game, I figured to expect a flying Buffalo team out of the gates behind a returning Eichel.
Yeah, didn’t see any of that. The boys continued their domination of the Sabres, outshooting them 38-28 and capturing another shutout (back to back), this time, behind Carter Hart.
Who else would the first goal come from? None other than #14, a gorgeous play from Sean Couturier. He carries Eichel on his back through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone, leaves the puck for a trailing Farabee who smartly fires it on the net. Couturier parks himself where you score a goal and secures his fourth of the year on the quick rebound in the slot.
Early in the second, offensive dynamo, Robert Hagg, fires a puck from the point after a face-off win by Bunnaman. Michael Raffl finds a way to get a stick on it and makes it 2-0. Always in the right spot.
Shots, shots and more shots. The boys are finally letting the thing go.
It wouldn’t be a hockey game without JVR registering a point. JVR gets on board with a silly deflection goal. I mean, cmon’.
Farabee picks up 2 assists on Couturier and JVR’s goals, giving him 9 assists on the year.
Carter Hart was saved by Mr. Post tonight but still finishes the game with a shutout. A great confidence boost for a goalie that definitely needed a reason to feel good about himself. 20/20, Hart only had to make on sprawling save, even then the Buffalo player didn’t get everything behind it. But, good effort from Hart nonetheless. Beautiful glove save.
- Patrick looks a lot better on Giroux & Hayes’ wing. Don’t know if that line will stay intact with Konency potentially returning next game vs Penguins.
- JVR has 25 points through 18 games, good for 9th in the NHL.
- Brian Elliott has been the Flyers best player this season.
- Zayde Wisdom continues to tear up the AHL
- The PK was 6/6 in the two games vs Buffalo. 9/11 since the Lake Tahoe game.
- Although the PP has looked better, especially today (Thought the puck movement was a lot better and more shots were happening), it’s 2/13 since Lake Tahoe (1/3 there).
- Laughton with a clutch goal in his first game back off the Covid list.
- Lindblom is due for a goal. He’s been awesome lately.
- Braun has been extremely solid defensively since coming back. Missed him.
- Ghost is playing like rookie year Ghost
Mandatory Credit: YONG KIM