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Philadelphia Flyers Monthly Review: October

Photo: Eric Hartline-USA Today

Photo: Eric Hartline-USA Today

By Victor Cabrera

For the Flyers every month is orange and mid-October was the start of a brand new NHL season. This season the Flyers celebrate their 50th year in the NHL. Although October is usually about ghosts and other scary things this season so far has been a bit of a haunting. With their fluctuating performance, these first 10 games have not been as good as Philadelphia and their fans would like. Now to review the Orange Month of the year and see what exactly has happened with the Flyers.

Philadelphia played a total of ten games in the month of October. Their record was 4-5-1 for a total of nine points. A three-game Western Conference trip would kick off the 2016-2017 season for the Flyers. The 1st game would be in southern California against the Kings. A scoreless 1st between the Flyers and Kings would turn into a flurry of goals as the Flyers would score all their goals (4) unanswered till late in the 2nd period. The Kings would score a lone goal in the 3rd. Sean Couturier would score two of the Flyers goals and the rookie Travis Konecny would have two assists in his debut. A win in the new season against the Kings by the score of 4-2 was the right start for Philly. The next night the Flyers would visit the Desert Dogs in Arizona. The Flyers would trail after the 1st period 2-1. They would trail 3-1 but, Simmonds would connect with Giroux to score ending the period 3-2 in favor of Arizona. Matt Read would tie the game in the 3rd forcing overtime. However, despite tying the game and forcing overtime the Coyotes were able to take the 2 points scoring in the extra session.

The last game of the Western Conference road trip was against Chicago. The Blackhawks would coast in the first period with a 3-0 lead at intermission. Hossa would add to the lead in the 2nd period scoring the 4th goal for Chicago and his 500th career goal. The Flyers would get a late second period goal as Matt Read would score on the power play. Read would score again this time in the third period and fuel a comeback for the Flyers. They would tie it up with Chicago 4-4 early in the 3rd period. However, Chicago answered back in the 2nd half of the period with three goals ending the game 7-4.

Next was a two game home-stand as the Anaheim Ducks came into town for the first home game of the season for the Flyers. The home side would trail after the 1st period. The Flyers would be able to take a lead in the 2nd period but, the Ducks would tie it to have a score of 2-2 after 40 minutes of play. Midway through the third Ducks’ forward Ryan Garbutt would receive a behind the net pass from Holzer to give the Ducks the game-winning goal. The Carolina Hurricanes would be next to stop into town. A scoreless 1st would soon be changed by the Canes as they would score two early and unanswered 2nd-period goals. Brandon Manning would help kick-start the Flyers comeback scoring shortly after being down 2-0. The Flyers would score 4 unanswered goals in the 2nd and would allow a late goal to make the score 4-3 Philly after the 2nd period. Simmonds would score on the power play in the 3rd and Jakub Voracek would score his 2nd goal for Philly late into regulation to beat Carolina 6-3.

The next two games for the Flyers were back to back games first with playing Montreal on the road. The Habs would take care of the Flyers 3-1 with good performances from Carey Price in net (31 saves) and Alexander Radulov who had 1 goal and 2 assists. The Habs would win their 4th straight game while the Flyers had to go back home to host the Sabers. After a scoreless first period, Buffalo would come out hot in the 2nd scoring three goals. Two of the goals on the power play both scored by Matt Moulson. It seemed like another flurry of goals was the end of the Flyers. However, they were able to turn the game around due to the fact that the lack of discipline of the Sabers. Travis Konecny would score his 1st career NHL goal on the power play. The Flyers would then score two more power-play goals to force overtime with a 3-3 score. Overtime wouldn’t find us a winner so shoot out it was. Both sides would miss their first attempt. Giroux would score for the Flyers. Kyle Okposo would be denied by Steve Mason which led to Voracek securing two points for the Flyers beating Nilsson with a wrist shot in the shootout. A very hard comeback to accomplish for any team in the NHL.

The Flyers would have two more home games following the shootout victory against Buffalo. Both games they would lose to the same score 5-4 first to the Coyotes and then to the Defending Stanley Cup Champions and state rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins. Against the Coyotes, they were able to rally to a 2-2 tie but Arizona was able to keep them down and out. Versus the Penguins, Philadelphia had a two-goal lead but Crosby would score twice for the Penguins followed by one from Cullen and Malkin. Giroux would score his first in the season bring them closer, Voracek would tie the game 4-4 and that would be the score after 40 minutes. Malkin would score the game-winning goal in the 3rd his second goal of the game to defeat Philly 5-4.

The last game for the Flyers in October was against the Carolina Hurricanes. Shayne Gostisbehere would score the lone goal in the 1st period. A five-goal second period would leave the game 3-3 after two periods of play. Brandon Manning would get the game-winning short-handed goal in the 3rd for the final score of 4-3. A treat after the two consecutive losses at home.

The Flyers’ goalies have had both pretty equal shares in minutes so far. However, Michal Neuvirth leads the Flyers with four wins versus Steve Mason‘s 2 wins. Konecny has been an impressive rookie for the Flyers having one goal and six assists for 7 points. Wayne Simmonds lead the team in goals with six. Claude Giroux led the team in both assists and points 10 assists and his two goals for 12 points.

Philadelphia has to focus on not losing leads in games and keeping the power play hot like this did against Buffalo. They need to be consistent with the extra man because those chances could be the difference maker in the game whether it be catching up or pulling away from the opponent. With other players like Voracek, Streit, Read, and Manning finding the net also it takes away the pressure from the top players like Giroux and Simmonds. If the scoring can be spread out across the team it will result in more wins. Their biggest problem has been dropping leads and allowing too many goals making a comeback much more difficult. The Flyers have to manage the 60-minute game; playing smart hockey, looking to take the lead, and keeping the foot on the gas.

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