Flyers hockey is back: Five Takeaways from last night’s 6-3 win over Boston
Hockey is officially back in Philadelphia. The Flyers are currently 2-0-1 to start the 2021-2022 season after recently defeating the rival, Boston Bruins. Rasmus Ristolainen, Zack MacEwen & Martin Jones all made their highly anticipated Flyers debuts last night. The Flyers take on the Florida Panthers on Saturday at 7pm, but before that, let’s talk about last night’s standouts.
Ristolainen had a fair game, I honestly think that’s the best way I could put it. He saw preseason action, was heavily involved in camp, then suffered that UBI and had to miss the first 2 games. He had one play on the Taylor Hall goal, where he tried to backhand the puck deep into the offensive zone, then tried to switch lines and got caught really bad.
Ristolainen owned the turnover after the game with the media, admitting it was a pretty brutal play. You can’t get lazy like that with Taylor Hall sitting right there. Later in the game, right before the 2nd period ended, Ristolainen lost Marchand in-front of the net, letting the Flyers killer tie the game up. Defensive zone coverage was the one thing I always kept hearing from Sabres fans when they talked about his weaknesses. It’s only his first game, but he needs to do a better job of tying his man up in-front of the net.
It wasn’t all bad for Ristolainen last night, he helped set up a PPG late in this first period when he absolutely destroyed Coyle in the corner. Coyle then is obviously upset and takes a frustration penalty on Sanheim. Flyers go to the PP and cash in, that’s exactly why we brought Ristolainen here. He really pisses other teams off, did it to us last year.
Martin Jones made 37 out of 40 saves after having a lot of people very upset with the fact that he was starting against Boston last night. He for now, put those people on the back-burner, handing in a very solid performance. The Bruins outshot the Flyers the entire game, with most of the shots coming from the point and wings resulting in “easier saves” (if that’s even a thing). The Bruins had a couple plays where a Bruin was sitting alone in-front of the net after the defensive zone coverages got mixed up. Flyers really need to work on staying on their man in the defensive zone.
Jones didn’t make any acrobatic or incredible saves, like his teammate Carter Hart did against Seattle, but he stood tall when the Flyers needed him too. Come in every now and then when Hart needs a break and just keep us in the game, that’s all we ask. It probably helps that the team and defense playing in-front of him is a whole lot better than it was back in San Jose.
I’m just saying
Joel Farabee & Cam Atkinson
Are you kidding me with these two? Farabee and Atkinson have combined for 7 points in the last two games against Seattle and Boston, starting the season on fire. Initially in camp, Farabee was with JVR and Morgan Frost, and Atkinson was with Lindblom and Brassard.
But with Frost being sent down to the AHL to get his scoring touch under him, the lines got jumbled and saw Brassard jump up to 2C with Farabee and Atkinson. Ever since the move, they’ve arguably become the Flyers best and most potent line. Every time they touch the puck I find myself sitting up on my couch waiting for something to happen.
Straight out the gate in the 3rd period, Farabee makes a terrific play in the neutral zone for the Flyers. He gets the play going the other way and puts a beautiful, and I mean BEAUTIFUL pass over to Atkinson.
Farabee: 3G-3A-6P in 3 games
Atkinson: 3G-1A-4P in 3 games
Remember, Farabee is locked up until 2027-2028 with a cap hit of $5.0, this kid has a chance to outplay his contract this season.
I just want to say how much of a breath of fresh air Ryan Ellis has been. I’m sitting here gushing over just how good of a trade that was. Nolan Patrick, who has 0 points through 3 games, and Phil Myers, who was just recently a healthy scratch for the Nashville Predators, for Ryan Ellis. Now, I’m not saying these two young players still can’t find their groove and pave out a path in the NHL, but to get a guy like Ryan Ellis for two players who were straight up not good last year, is a win in my book every single day.
Ellis had 2 assists in his first game as a Flyer, then scored that beautiful goal off the Brassard feed from behind the net against Seattle, then had an assist last night against Boston. Through his first 3 games with his new club, Ellis has 1G-3A-4P and is averaging 23:96 minutes of ice-time.
Not only does he bring skill to the lineup, but his calmness in the defensive zone and ability to hit that first pass out of his zone is so impressive. He’s one of those defenseman where, if he’s not on the scoresheet that night, you probably won’t hear his name much. But that’s not because he’s ineffective that night, he’s just calmly and quietly getting the job done.
Provorov – Ellis until I have kids.
I could’ve easily just thrown this with the Farabee and Atkinson paragraph considering they’re on the same line, but I genuinely think Brassard deserves his own. Signed on August 25th for $825,000, Brassard currently has 1G-4A-5P through 3 games, placing him 2nd on the team in points behind Joel Farabee. We’re currently getting it all from Brassard. Terrific defensive work, crisp passes and goals, he’s even sticking up for teammates and letting other teams know G, Farabee and Provorov will not be touched this year. He’s been an awesome addition on the ice and in the locker room for the Flyers, the kind of guy everyone wants on their team.
Farabee – Brassard – Atkinson
That line alone has combined for 15 points through the first 3 games, easily being the highest scoring line on the team. I mentioned in my preview article how even though nobody on that 3rd line has been playing bad, I needed more from them. Scott Laughton answered my call by potting a goal last night against Boston. If the first two lines can keep doing what they’re doing and this 3rd line can start putting up serious point, watch out.
Mandatory Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum - The Associated Press