RECAP: Flyers Lose in Overtime. No, Seriously, Again
As a fan of the NHL, I love overtime. A time where possession hockey isn’t just encouraged, but mandatory. Highlights aren’t just anticipated. They’re expected. The open ice and fewer sticks to interfere with offense becomes an unfettered showcase of the game’s brightest stars and most dynamic talents.
As a fan of the Flyers, I abhor it. We don’t show off bright stars and dynamic talents. We throw out Scott Laughton and Kevin Hayes, and we are forced to suffer through the Flyers attempting to cosplay as fun before they inevitably get danced upon by the more talented team.
And in case you haven’t been keeping track, “the more talented teams” happens to essentially be all the teams. The Flyers are 1-8 in overtime. Add a shootout loss to that, and you get a 1-9 collective record after the 60 minutes of regulation time.
But, Derek. Don’t you want the Flyers to lose?
Of course, I do! I love that they’re on a three-game losing streak; that’s healthy for the long-term future of the franchise! What I don’t love, however, is all the pity points we’ve collected along the way. It doesn’t necessarily defeat the purpose, but it certainly mitigates the benefit.
And on top of that, again, I have to watch the Flyers attempt to be a dynamic team.
Worse yet, they don’t even use their most dynamic talents!
They use Scott Laughton as a faceoff specialist to help ensure possession to open the overtime. Well, that seems logical. Lots of teams do that. There’s only one problem: Scott Laughton is 48% on faceoffs this year.
Let me get this straight. We are starting Scott Laughton in overtime over a kid like Morgan Frost because he wins 3% more faceoffs.
Out of every 100 faceoffs Scott Laughton takes, he is winning 3 more than Morgan Frost. And because of those 3 faceoffs, we are starting Scott Laughton in overtime. A player who, by Torts’ admission, is not really the kind of person you want on the ice in that situation.
If your only goal is to win that particular game, sure, that makes sense. But even if you don’t favor tanking, you surely aren’t looking at this situation and saying that the only goal should be to win individual games.
You want to see young talents developed. At least, that’s what I’ve gathered from all of my interactions with fellow Flyers fans. And yet, whenever there’s a choice between winning and development, winning takes precedence every time.
It is exactly the wrong philosophy for this organization, and it is not Chuck Fletcher’s fault this time. Unfortunately, it isn’t. No, it’s John Tortorella’s fault.
He could choose to do something different at any time, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t, because he believes this somehow is developing them.
It isn’t. Letting a dynamic player like Owen Tippett or Morgan Frost ride the bench during overtime is not helping their development. End of story.
Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to insult or criticize our face of the franchise. A damn coach. What a sad state of affairs.
The game was rather uneventful. The Flyers blocked–in accurate terms–a metric fuck ton of shots.
The Wild registered 23 shots on goal while the Flyers piled up 30. You would think that meant they controlled the game, but they really didn’t. They just blocked 21 shots as opposed to the Wild’s 16, which takes away most of the shot on goal gap right there.
If you go by quality scoring chances, the gap looks like this:
3.55 to 2.49 expected goals in favor of the Wild.
17 high danger chances to 11 in favor of the Wild.
30 total scoring chances to 23 in favor of the Flyers, (hey!)
In short, this wasn’t total domination. But it was pretty clearly favored the Wild.
There was also a lot of fights. Many, many fights.
Four whole “drop the gloves” style bouts! That was interesting. That was fun. A real carnival affair.
I don’t have much more to say about that. MacEwen, Deslauriers, Allison, and Patrick Brown all fought. It was fun. There isn’t much meaning beyond that.
After all the fighting, MacEwen and Allison both went down with injuries unrelated to the combat. They didn’t return to the game, and we can only hope they’re okay. And wait for updates as they come.
As a parting thought, in honor of my recent Morgan Frost article…
I’ll let the clip and the tweet speak for itself.
That’s why we believe in Morgan Frost around these parts.