Flyers Snap Six Game Losing Streak in MTL
Although the odds favored the Montreal Canadiens, last night was a battle between two bad teams that the Philadelphia Flyers should have won, and they did.
Each period was as chaotic as one might think. James van Riemsdyk secured my goalscorer bet anytime just before Ivan Provorov took another for a 2-0 lead. Then one of the most inexcusable things happened:
I’m not talking about the Canadiens’ score with Carey Price as goaltender in 2021-22. I’m referring to Brendan Gallagher’s hand pass to Mike Hoffman. That should have disqualified the goal, but the refereeing team told Mike Yeo he couldn’t contest the goal play. In the end, and Yeo seemed to believe him at the time, he could have challenged it, and the refereeing team made a mistake. The fix was in place; the Flyers literally got better lottery odds in the 2022 NHL Draft.
“I’m not going to dodge a question, but we knew it was a manual pass.”
Mike Yeo; 04/21/2022
Montreal tied the game, but Oskar Lindblom took the lead with his fiftieth career goal. Linus Hogberg notched his first career NHL point with an assist on the scoring play.
Overall, Philadelphia snapped a six-game losing streak, beating the Canadiens for the first time this season. It was a complete performance against a team they should have beaten. Learning how to win these games has been a lesson from Yeo all season. Holding on to a 6-3 win proved harder than it should be, but the Flyers earned the decision.
Linus Hogberg (+)
Another perspective had an impact in 2021-2022. Hogberg was called up on an emergency basis after Kevin Connauton was injured against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hogberg had a successful debut, picking up his first career NHL assist. His performance showed he has the potential to hang on in the NHL but is expected to develop further with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2022-23.
“I think they all played really well for us tonight. All of our young guys, including Hoggy. For his first NHL game, he gave us a lot of stability.”
Mike Yeo; 04/21/2022
Keith Yandle played 7:01 of last night’s game. Hogberg stayed on the ice for 17:25, getting to grips with the NHL pace. Yeo rewarded him with more ice time as the game progressed. The goal of these final games is to see what the Philadelphia Flyers have in their system and how they fit into the current mold. The Montreal Canadiens, now on a seven-game losing streak, were the perfect opponent for the new hopefuls.
Picking up an assist and a plus-1 differential, Hogberg also blocked three shots. Its growth and development is worth being excited about, which is a growing theme in the Flyers farming system.
Powerplay flyers (-)
We are all well aware that the Philadelphia Flyers have the worst powerplay in the league. There are knockout units scoring at a higher rate than the Flyers’ power play. This is a fundamental flaw, not exclusive to new prospects.
Philadelphia is 1/31 in the last ten games with a men’s advantage. They allowed three shorthanded goals (New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs.)
“It’s one thing they don’t score, but we actually give more chances. This must stop.
Mike Yeo; 04/21/2022
The Montreal Canadiens are one of the few teams with a worse power penalty than the Flyers, but they were missing a power play conversion last night. You can tell the unit is lax on the ice. They’re looking for every avenue to score a goal, but drop the details to avoid an odd rush in transition. Martin Jones stood on his head, starving the Canadiens through a flurry of OZ-friendly entries.
On paper, goaltending stats in Philadelphia don’t do the eye test justice.
Ronnie Attard (+)
His offensive production at the NHL level is a surprise. When the Philadelphia Flyers recalled Ronnie Attard, I was more drawn to his defensive style. A two-way defenseman, Attard was among the top power play and shorthanded units in college.
Attard has two goals and assists, most recently a clean pass to Travis Konecny before burning Carey Price. Konecny praised Attard for his patience and vision, letting us know he’s the kind of defender looking to make a play.
“What I like is that he is looking to make games. Sometimes he just has to differentiate when it’s time to make a play and when it’s not, but I like that when he gets the puck he tries to make a play. my goal. He had the opportunity to go further, and he kind of waited patiently and found me in the middle of the ice.
Travis Konecny; 04/21/2022
Differentiating when and when not to play will come with more experience and development. Attard will receive more seasoning with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2022-23. The defensive depth within the Flyers system is quality. More impressive was Attard against the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this week, going plus-2 while scoring a goal. He redeemed his efforts from his debut, when he was at four under against the same team.
Brink, van Riemsdyk and the future of the Flyers PP (+)
Bobby Brink might be the prospect that unlocks more production from a veteran like van Riemsdyk. It’s always nice to hear a veteran player state outright that he’s having fun on the same line as a prospect. Another example in recent history was Scott Laughton praising Noah Cates. Here is what van Riemsdyk said about Brink:
“You see him getting more comfortable game after game in the hockey sense; just knowing the right way to play, the right times to make the right plays. It was great fun to play on the same line.
James van Riemsdyk; 04/21/2022
Feel how you want to feel about van Riemsdyk, but his line is still one of the best on the Philadelphia Flyers roster as of late. With the exception of the shutout loss to the New York Rangers, prospects on a line with van Riemsdyk are playing some of their best even-strength hockey. Brink appears to be the most stable prospect with van Riemsdyk, but Owen Tippett is another contributor.
Do not distort it; Chuck Fletcher should yet urge van Riemsdyk to dump his salary without hesitation. Until then, let van Riemsdyk continue humming along with Brink and Tippett.
On the league’s worst power-play unit, van Riemsdyk still provides the best mentorship to future prospects who could contribute to special teams.
Response to adversity (+)
Oh yeah, back to that mess called NHL officiating.
Yeo, at the time, knew it was a manual pass. Everyone at home knew it too. Even the Montreal Canadiens’ regional broadcast commentary team couldn’t figure out what the goal looked like. Then it was clarified. Officials told Yeo he couldn’t challenge because, ultimately, NHL officials don’t know the rules.
“I don’t know what the deal was there, if it’s supposed to be reviewed. I don’t think we were allowed to challenge it, but it seemed pretty obvious to me. I don’t know if it touched something after he gloved it, but I think it was a pretty clear miss. We reacted well and kept playing. We didn’t let him phase us too much. We didn’t get enough did that this year, but tonight we were able to keep playing.
James van Riemsdyk; 04/21/2022
Many players said they remained vigilant despite an ugly call from the refereeing team. Often the sky drops and the Philadelphia Flyers can’t get out of that perpetual rain cloud. The Flyers staved off that defeatist mentality last night and stuck to their guns. Lindblom regained the lead and Philadelphia never looked back.
By the way, weird to hand over for an assist when your team has a better chance in the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft, Gallagher. The Canadiens were basically scored a goal by NHL officials and still lost to one of the worst Flyers teams to ever exist in my life. Yeah.
(Photo credit: Alex McIntyre)