RECAP: Flyers Fall to Hurricanes 4-3 After Overtime
It felt like regression to the mean was in the air after the Flyers gave up 2 goals in the first period. The first of which came off of the stick of Jordan Stall, and somehow skipped over Carter Hart’s skate and into the net from the side of the net.
By all technicalities, one might consider it a soft goal. It was. But it’s mostly one of those freak bounces that can happen to any goalie. Particularly, goalies who hug the post using the “skate on post” technique like Hart does. It provides extra explosion and therefore lateral mobility. But, the downside is that the coverage is incomplete and there’s technically room for pucks to squeak through.
Shoutout to Jason Myrtetus, Flyers Daily host, for the bit of inside baseball for goalies.
The second goal came after some hard, gritty forechecking behind the net. The kind of thing the Hurricanes are known for. One would think that the Flyers were well situated for such a hardnosed battle behind the net, with Nick Seeler and Rasmus Ristolainnen on the ice.
Alas, the two burly and gritty defenseman lost that puck battle and the centering pass from behind the net landed on Martinhook’s stick. There was some hope of a Hart robbery, but it didn’t come. A hard earned goal.
The Flyers got their opening slice of offense from an unusual source. Nic Deslauriers potted his first as a Flyer after going bar-down on Anti Raanta.
This kind of hard forechecking sequences was typical of the Allison, Sedlak, and Deslauriers line tonight. The Hurricanes were coming off of a back to back. Their legs and minds were lagging a step behind, and the gritty–high octane–forechecking of the fourth line was often their greatest source of consternation.
The second Flyers goal of the night came from Owen Tippett, who had himself a terrific game overall. This was the highlight of his night. On the Power-Play, Tony Deangelo initiates a give and go sequence with a pass to the wall for Tippett.
Konecny and Tippett play an ensuing small-area 2v1 to perfection, and it ends with a lightning quick release from Tippett who never gave Raanta the chance to close the 5-hole.
I’ve long been critical of Tippett’s release. He telegraphs his shots, and it often sabotages his otherwise hard and accurate shot. There was no telegraph here. Excellent shot.
That was yet another 2 goal deficit erased, and the ensuing vibes could not be more positive! Watching the game, it felt inevitable that the Flyers would take the lead. And they did just that.
The hard forechecking of the fourth line gave the Hurricanes fits again, and it ended with Allison lifting a backhanded shot over Raanta’s pad. This was, in many ways, more of the same. The Canes bottom six just could be not handle the speed of Sedlak and the grit of his wingers.
The good vibes of the game would not last forever.
In the final two minutes of the game, Marty Necas–who will absolutely continue his current breakout year, just watch him play–roofed a shot over Hart’s blocker. It was probably the most difficult shot of the night, given that Travis Sanheim decided to momentarily play for the other team and serve as a screen to Hart.
I have no idea what he was doing on that play. Whatever it was, I don’t think it was defense.
The game would go to overtime.
And well.. the Flyers are simply not equipped to be playing 3 on 3 hockey with the Carolina Hurricanes. With the open space that this format presents, things like speed and skill are magnified.
That’s why Travis Konecny and Tony DeAngelo looked excellent and almost combined for an early goal to end this thing. But Raanta made the stops.
Then those two left the ice. And the Flyers proceeded to be hemmed in their zone for the rest of the OT period. The farther bench was working against the Flyers. A long change threat looming over them created a long shift.
Eventually, the Flyers on the ice completely ran out of gas.
And Brent Burns put the game to bed with another blocker-side snipe.
On the Rush Observations:
- Owen Tippett played with a supreme confidence that I haven’t yet seen from him. And his mixture of speed, skill, and strength made him look–at times–like the best player on the ice for either team.
- In a pedestrian night, Carter Hart made 34 saves on 38 shots. And there were some really difficult saves in the mix. No goalie is going to bring their best stuff in every appearance, but if that’s what a normal Hart looks like? Sign me up. Because we’ve already seen what his A game looks like, and it’s world-beating.
- Ivan Provorov and Tony DeAngelo formed the only defense pairing that even appeared semi-competent. Rasmus Ristolainnen and Nick Seeler seemed especially inept. In a world where the Flyers could roll three NHL quality defensive pairings, this game was eminently winnable.
- Travis Konecny continues his assault on the league to open the year, racking up his 5th assist for his 9th point in 8 games. But more than that, his explosiveness is at a different level to start this season. He’s been a mixture of aggressive forechecking and dazzling offensive plays that has been a joy to watch.
- The sooner Kevin Hayes is no longer on the half-wall of the first Power-Play unit, the sooner I can breathe easy. I can no longer tolerate the play dying on his stick as his mind and legs compete to find out which is slower.