The Flyers Western Canada Road Trip came earlier in the season this year, unlike past years. The Flyers started in Vancouver on 10/12, and fell in a SO 3-2, suffering their first loss of the season. The Flyers didn’t bring their skating legs, as Vancouver was quicker to pucks and owned most puck possession in the first two periods.
The first goal, Brock Boeser tallied his first of the season, beating Justin Braun to the rebound and whacked it in to give Vancouver the 1-0 lead. The first period ended 1-0 in favor of Vancouver, but early in the second the Flyers were buzzing as JVR hit two posts on the PP, then Carsen Twarynski got his first NHL goal on a great pass from Braun, beating Jacob Markstrom shortside. About a minute later Tanner Pearson got a beautiful tip on the shot from Chris Tanev to make it 2-1. Carter Hart was in good position, but there wasn’t much he could do to prevent the goal.
The Flyers owned the third period outshooting Vancouver 12-3 and tying the game on the PP off a great rush started by Matt Niskanen, dropping it to Travis Konecny over to Oskar Lindblom who was wide open in the slot to tie it up. Overtime was very exciting as both teams went back and forth until Sean Couturier took a penalty for “throwing the stick” as Bo Horvat had a breakaway that tipped off Hart’s glove and went wide.
The Canucks had chances to win it but the Flyers PK was strong blocking shots and cutting down passing lanes, keeping the Flyers alive. Claude Giroux would get the lone shootout goal for the Flyers, as Petterson and Pearson scored for Vancouver giving them the Victory.
The Flyers next game was in Calgary on 10/15, and they weren’t too hot in this one. The Flyers played a very sloppy game, they iced the puck way too many times, no forward was in position for a pass, the PP was sloppy trying to go through the whole team, and they couldn’t get any shots on net.
The Flyers were down 1:35 in as Michael Frolik beat Brian Elliot after he fell over Justin Braun’s skate and couldn’t get back up in time, making it 1-0. The Flyers had three power plays in this period and couldn’t get much going, sloppy passes all around. That continued in second as the Flyers iced the puck many times throughout the game and gave Calgary scoring chance after scoring chance. They were lucky to still be down 1-0 after 1, even though Sean Monahan had a goal disallowed for a kicking motion, a real break for the Flyers.
Brian Elliot kept the Flyers in this one making big saves to keep it 1-0 until the Flyers iced the puck and on the ensuing faceoff Andrew Mangiapane scored off the stick off Travis Sanheim in the slot to make it 2-0. Nothing Elliot could do there, a knuckleball shot. The Flyers didn’t have many chances in this game only having 15 shots through two periods, couldn’t get any chances off the rush.
Early in the third Matt Niskanen got his first goal as a Flyer on a great pass from Konecny behind the net on a delayed penalty. The Flyers pressed in the third and had some chances until Elias Lindholm put the game away for Calgary on the empty net goal with 10.8 seconds to go. The Flyers next challenge would be the first back to back series of the year, playing the red hot Edmonton Oilers (yes, I mean RED HOT) on 10/16.
The Flyers continued having a bad start into the game vs Edmonton giving up a goal about a minute into the game. Leon Draisaitl beat Carter Hart on the turnover from Oskar Lindblom. The Flyers answered back a few minutes later as Jake Voracek got his first of the year on the PP to tie it at 1. The Oilers would make it 2-1 as the Flyers had a Defensive zone breakdown in coverage, leaving Ethan Bear wide open in the slot to give the Oilers the lead. The Flyers played a good period, dominated in chances and puck possession but still trailed 2-1 after 1.
That would continue as the Flyers were pressing for the first few minutes of the second as all four lines were contributing to the offense, just couldn’t find the back of the net. Connor Mcdavid would make a gorgeous play to beat Justin Braun for the puck and beat Hart on the mini breakaway, killing all Flyers momentum and giving the Oilers a 3-1 lead. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would make it 4-1 Oilers as he ripped one on the PP beating Hart upstairs for his first of the year.
This would end Hart’s night as he got pulled after allowing 4 goals on 14 shots, Brian Elliot came in. I believe that early goal threw Hart off his game and he couldn’t get it back into sync. You have to feel bad for Hart, in his first game in Edmonton, not far from where he grew up. He had a bunch of family and friends at the game, and he didn’t have his best game.
Leon Draisaitl got his second of the game on a very weird goal on the PP, as Elliot robbed him with the stick then lost the puck and Draisaitl wrapped it around to make it 5-1. The former Flyer Brandon Manning made it 6-1 on a big slap shot from the point, one that Elliot would want back. Jake Voracek and Oskar Lindblom would get two goals making it 6-3, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback and the Flyers went 0-2-1 on the road trip.
The Flyers need to come into these next two home games against Dallas on the 19th, and Vegas on the 21st and refocus themselves and get back to playing the way they were playing before this road trip. As we talked about on the 7th episode of the Flyer’d Up Podcast, the Flyers need some more top line scoring. Giroux, JVR, Hayes, and Ghost all need to get the ball rolling and start to contribute more for the Flyers team. If we see some production from these guys, then maybe we can see some wins in upcoming games.