• January 21, 2022

My Thoughts on Tonights Flyers/Oilers 3-1 Win

If ever there was a game where the Flyers needed to right the ship, tonight was it. The Edmonton Oilers, despite winning 7 of their last 10 games, sit at the bottom of the rankings in the NHL. Much of that has to do with the fact that they have so many rookies in the line-up.

What I liked…

  • Andreas Nodl, who has 1 goal in his last 18 games, and Nikolai Zherdev were healthy scratches tonight in place of Dan Carcillo and Jody Shelley. From a talent perspective, the decision seems a bit out of place for a team mired in a slump. Shelley and Carcillo, though, may have given a boost to the team’s energy and locker room morale. Neither had standout games, but I would suspect both stay in the line-up for Thursday’s tilt against Toronto.
  • Jeff Carter became the first Flyer of 2011 to hit 30 goals, tallying 2 on the night (including a powerplay goal scored in the waning seconds of a 5:00 PP). Anyone who suspects Carter is going to be a consistent 45+ goal scorer in the NHL needs to lay off the kool-aid, but he can usually be counted on for 35 ± goals.
  • Sergei Bobrovsky didn’t have much to worry about in the first period, as the Oilers didn’t put up a single shot until 1:30 was left on the clock. However, the Oilers swarmed the net later in the game, including the final 30 seconds of the second period. He kept the Flyers in it when the defense broke down.
  • I usually limit this section to the Flyers, but goaltender Devan Dubnyk played very well at the other end of the ice for the Oilers. Dubnyk was backing up Jeff Deslauriers when the Oilers beat the Flyers 1-0 last season, but he’s now getting his fair share of ice time and may have a nice career ahead of him.

Not so much…

  • Defenseman Sean O’Donnell didn’t look as poor as he has been over the last several games, but he couldn’t stop Jean-Francois Jacque (wonder if he’s French) from re-directing the puck past Bobrovsky in the second period. If his play slides again on Thursday, I would hope Laviolette sits him in place of Nick Boynton for a game or two. At 39, O’Donnell may need some rest after logging in substantial minutes all season.
  • Ville Leino has become more and more noticeable as a turnover machine as the season’s progressed. He’s stated before that much of his game is based on his confidence level, and it seems like he’s trying too hard to thread the needle with some of his passes. I don’t think he should be benched, but he needs to keep his head up more rather than make blind passes.
  • When is this team going to get a shutout? Henrik Lundqvist has nine and his team leaves him out to dry more often than their laundry.

 

Between the win tonight, the frustration at losing to Toronto last week, and the likelihood of having Carcillo and Shelley in the line-up again, I would bet that Thursday’s game against the Leafs will be the first game to really showcase this team’s turn around. If they’re playing for anything at this point, it’s pride. Let’s hope Kris Versteeg can complete the hat trick he started in their last meeting.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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2 Comments

  • *4-1
    Boynton can’t do much worse! I was wondering when someone was gonna mention Leino’s passing. They’re pretty when he’s on his game but lately they’re all automatic giveaway’s. Edmonton couldn’t come at a better time though. I just don’t wanna play the Devils in the first round.

  • boyton needs to replace o’donnell for a few games to let the oldman rest for the playoffs. plus boyton needs to get a couple games incase of injury. leino i mentioned leino needs to take a seat in the pressbox to make him realize he needs to play better. sure he has a bad hip but maybe a little rest would go a long way with him too. none the less a win is a win and when they win a few more in a row the previous 4 game slide will be a distant memory.

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