On Tuesday, it looked like it was going to be a dreadful week for the Philadelphia Flyers. They were down 3-1 at the end of the first period against the Buffalo Sabres, and it looked like they were not going to get a point against the worst team in the National Hockey League. That is not what happened, as during the game, the Flyers staged one of their now infamous comebacks, defeating Buffalo in the shootout 5-4. They knew they had to improve going into Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals. It did not start out well for the Orange and Black, and even though they almost had their second comeback in a row, they fell at the hands of Alex Ovechkin and crew 5-3. It was a very similar result on Saturday, as the Flyers almost came back yet again, but fell 5-4 to Washington. Even though it might not have been a perfect week for the Flyers, a couple of players looked really strong over the past 3 games.
Provorov’s Increasing Point Total
Although other Flyers defensemen have been the ones that are putting up the points, Ivan Provorov has still been a consistent piece on the Flyers blue line. Even with his plus/minus decreasing, Provorov has impressed not just in the points total, but with his durability as well.
During Tuesday’s game against Buffalo, Provy had the secondary assist on Claude Giroux’s tally late in the second period. It was his 11th point of the season in his 23rd game. He also played 25 minutes that night, the most among all active skaters. Provorov also scored his 3rd goal of the season early in the 3rd period in Thursday’s loss to Washington. For the second straight game, he led all eligible skaters in ice time, with 24 minutes of action.
It seems like Provorov is flying under the radar this season with his play. He’s on track for his usual point pace, and he’s only spent six minutes in the penalty box this entire season. The former first round pick has been arguably the most consistent Flyers defender over the past couple of years, and he looks to be a piece of this franchise for years to come, especially after the long term contract he signed not too long ago.
Ghost On the Loose
It took a while for Shayne Gostisbehere to find his groove this season. At times, he was missing games and others, he was virtually nonexistent. In the past couple of weeks, Gostisbehere is becoming the top defender that the team saw in 2015-16, and he’s found his way onto his 2nd Flyers Week in Review in 3 weeks.
In the 3rd period of Tuesday’s game against the Sabres, Gostisbehere found the back of the net for his 4th goal of the season. It was also a power play tally, and it was a major reason the Flyers were able to come away with two points. Ghost was also effective in Thursday’s loss to the Capitals, notching the secondary assist on Travis Konecny’s first period goal. That was also on the power play, and it’s good to see Gostisbehere be a consistent presence on that unit. He added yet another goal on Saturday against the Caps, with a power play wrist shot off a feed from Sean Couturier.
Gostisbehere is back in his usual role with the Flyers, after struggling for a majority of last season. His name has popped up from time to time in trade rumors, but it now looks like he may stick with the Orange and Black long term. He has been a force to be reckoned with on the power play, as all of his points this week have come on the man advantage.
Nolan’s Week in Review Debut
This season has been a struggle for Nolan Patrick. He’s coming off a major injury, and the former 2nd overall pick has had a hard time staying consistent this year. Despite this, Patrick did some positive things this week, as he tries to get his 2021 campaign back on track.
In the shootout win against the Sabres, Patrick was able to find the back of the net to seal the win for the Flyers. It was a feel good moment, and it provided the Flyers with an extra point on their year. In Saturday’s loss against the Capitals, Patrick scored his 3rd goal of the season. Jakub Voracek and Travis Sanheim picked up assists on the tally that cut the Capitals lead to 3-2.
That goal must have felt good for Patrick, as it was his first point since January 26. He has also shined in the face-off circle this year, as he has the third highest win percentage on the team. Even with his recent turnover troubles, Patrick can be a huge contribution to an already deep Flyers squad. For this to happen, though, he needs to continue scoring and producing. Droughts that last 17 games cannot be the norm for him.
Voracek’s Got the Assists
I understand that Jakub Voracek did not find the back of the net in any of the Flyers wins this week. However, he was able to come up with three points in the three games, as he showcased his skills as a passer. He finished the week with three assists, all of which were primary.
In the second period of Philadelphia’s shootout win against Buffalo, Voracek was able to find Claude Giroux to cut the Flyers’ deficit to 4-3. He was on the ice for over 22 minutes, which was first among all Flyers forwards. Voracek was able to come up with two more assists during Saturday’s loss to the Capitals. He was able to provide Nolan Patrick with his first goal since January, and he found Captain Claude late in the third period as the Flyers attempted to stage a comeback.
This is what Flyers fans have loved about Voracek for so long. He’s able to find his guy like nobody else, and when the team needs to score, he’s likely to find the back of the net. So far, Voracek has only three goals this season, but he’s sixth on the team in points with the sheer amount of assists he has. Voracek is the definition of a team first player, and his play on the ice has shown it.
Photo Credit on Featured Image: Sportsnet