The Philadelphia Flyers have made a statement within the NHL as of late, and that is due to some fresh, young faces. The Flyers are 4-0-1 in their last 5 games including a 4 game winning streaks. These wins aren’t against bottom-tier teams either, and they didn’t just cruise to victory in any of these games, with the exception of their 4-1 win over the Hurricanes on November 5th. The 3 games following that matchup include a 3-2 victory over the Canadiens in overtime, a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs in a shootout, and a 3-2 win over the Bruins in a shootout. These victories have boosted the Flyers to third in the Metropolitan division and 8th overall in the league with 22 points, and the orange and black can credit their young stars for these wins. Just glancing over the Flyers this season you already get a taste of success in their young players with 22-year old Travis Konecny leading the team in points (18), goals (8) and assists (11), and he currently has 5 points in the last four games. Let’s break down these last four Flyers wins just to show how impressive they have been.
Flyers 4, Hurricanes 1
This game was just about as evenly split as you can get. The only major differential in team stats was the shots on goal with Carolina tallying 34 in comparison to the Flyers 28, but less proved to be more in this scenario. Philadelphia had a narrow lead with 18 hits to the Canes’ 16 and Carolina had 28 faceoffs won over the Flyers 27. Each team had an even share of penalty minutes at 6 each, but the Flyers clearly outplayed Carolina in this one. Flyers Center Sean Couturier would put his team up 1-0 at just over 3 minutes into the first period on a PP goal after Joel Edmundson was called for high-sticking. The Canes wouldn’t be able to get on the board until 6 minutes into the 2nd period after a goal by Center Lucas Wallmark. Heading into the 3rd period tied at 1-1, each team was looking to get something going for a regulation victory. Konecny would break the tie at just over a minute into the third with his 7th goal of the season. Left-Wing Joel Farabee would cushion the Flyers lead to 3-1 with seven minutes to go in regulation. Flyers veteran and Captain Claude Giroux would seal the deal with a goal at just over 2 minutes to go to make the final score 4-1 and give Philadelphia a win in front of their home crowd.
Flyers 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)
Young star goalie Carter Hart got another win on his home ice, but this win meant more. This win came off of an OT goal by Couturier 55-seconds into overtime against Hart’s childhood hero Carey Price. Price recorded 40 saves in comparison to Hart’s 24. This drastic numerical difference in shots saved is due to the Flyers 6 power-play opportunities (the Habs had 0), but Price’s excellence had Philadelphia coming up empty in every single one. Right-Wing Philippe Myers got his first goal of the season at 13:51 in the first period and a goal by Left-Wing James van Riemsdyk less than a minute into the second period would put the Flyers up 2-0. Hart gave up his first goal at 13:44 into the second period to defensemen Ben Chiarot making the score 2-1. Defensemen Shea Weber tied it at 2-2 4 minutes in the second period, but the Flyers ended it quickly in overtime and improved to 8-5-2 for their best start in 15 years.
Flyers 3, Maple Leafs 2 (SO)
The Flyers put Brian Elliott in the goal for the first game in a back-to-back stint on the road. Philadelphia found themselves up 2-0 at the end of the first period after a goal by Myers (8:08) and a goal by Left-wing Oskar Lindblom (18:28). But a goal by defensemen Travis Dermott in the 2nd period and a goal by Right-wing William Nylander in the third period would end regulation in a tie. Both teams would come up empty in overtime, and Couturier would win it for Philadelphia for the second game in a row. Riding the high of this win, the Flyers would look to continue their momentum in their matchup against a very strong Boston Bruins team.
Flyers 3, Bruins 2 (SO)
For the third straight game, the Flyers would gain a 2-0 lead early and the opposing team would then tie the game in the third period. The first two goals came in the first period by Konecny and Myers (3rd straight game with a goal) in the first period. Neither team would score in the second period and a goal by Left-Wing Dan Heinen and a goal by Left-Wing Brad Marchand in the third period would send Philadelphia into OT for the third straight game. Scoreless overtime sent the game into a shootout and the lone goal was scored by Farabee to give Philadelphia their fourth straight win.
A few things stand out to me on this win streak. Veteran player Claude Giroux didn’t score in 3 out of 4 of these games (except for one in the shootout win over Toronto) and Jakub Voracek didn’t score any of the wins on this streak but the Flyers were still able to overcome very powerful, playoff-contending teams. Strong offensive performances by young players like Konecny, Lindblom, Myers, and Farabee have shown the strength of this young core that plays alongside young star goalie Carter Hart. Hart is 4-0 in his last four starts putting up a save percentage of .929 with 1.91 goals allowed per game. All of these factors plus a strong defensive performance will need to come together for the Flyers to win their 5th straight game against the Washington Capitals on national television tonight November 13, 2019. Win or lose tonight, it is very clear that this Flyers team seems to have finally found their footing and they don’t seem to be going anywhere. These wins have seemingly gone unnoticed in the national media but tonight the Flyers have a chance to make a statement to hockey fans across the nation.