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Flyers Monthly Review: November
By Victor Cabrera
Philadelphia had an extensive game schedule for November. The Flyers have played 24 games this season, 14 of which were played this past month. Philadelphia went 7-5-2 for a total of 16 points in the month of November. Currently, they sit 4th in the Metropolitan division and 10th in the Eastern Conference with 31 points on the season. Currently, they are in the playoff race for one of the bottom spots in the Eastern Conference. Now for the overview of the Flyers jam-packed month in November.
The first game of the month was a front end of a back-to-back in which Detroit visited the Flyers. A game which was a sour start for Philly as the trailed 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes. Chris VandeVelde would answer back for the Flyers in the 2nd period leaving them down by only a goal after the 2nd period. The rookie Roman Lyubimov would tie it up for Philadelphia with his first Career NHL goal and point. Zetterberg scored later in the period and the Red Wings would end up taking back the lead. In the closing minutes of the game Mark Streit the veteran defensemen would find the back of the net with their goalie pulled to force overtime. Overtime wouldn’t last long as Voracek would score the game winner on a pass from captain Claude Giroux securing two points for the home team. The win over Detroit couldn’t be celebrated long as the Flyers headed for the Barclay’s Center to play the Islanders. The game had a scoreless first period. The Flyers would trade goals with the Islanders as
The win over Detroit couldn’t be celebrated long as the Flyers headed for the Barclay’s Center to play the Islanders. The game had a scoreless first period. The Flyers would trade goals with the Islanders as Travis Konecny Scored for Philadelphia and John Tavares scored for New York. The Islanders would take the lead in the 3rd and just like the night before the Flyers scored a late 3rd period goal with their goalie pulled. However, overtime didn’t settle the game and shootout was to be played. Both Flyers and Islanders had their shots blocked in the 1st round. In the 2nd round, Michal Neuvirth again made a save on the Islanders shooter and Giroux was to shoot next for Philadelphia. Giroux used his crafty hands to deke out Jaroslav Halak of the Islanders and scored a highlight goal. Next in the 3rd round was John Tavares in sudden death he had to score to keep his team alive. Neuvirth however, did not bite on any of Tavares tricks and made a poke check save to give the Flyers the win and two points. Next was the Canadians on the road that had a high scoring first period 2-2 after the first 20 minutes. A Habs solo goal in the second gave them the lead. Montreal increased their lead to two. The Flyers would score on the power play twice but Montreal scored short-handed and despite the Flyers’ rally they lost a tough game by the score of 5-4.
Next was the Canadians on the road that had a high scoring first period 2-2 after the first 20 minutes. A Habs solo goal in the second gave them the lead. Montreal increased their lead to two. The Flyers would score on the power play twice but Montreal scored short-handed and despite the Flyers’ rally they lost a tough game by the score of 5-4.
Back at home, they faced the Red Wings again. History repeated itself as after regulation they ended in a tie this time Overtime time didn’t settle this game but instead a shootout in which the Flyers missed all three of their shots and Detroit scored on their third shot. Philadelphia would take a single point at home. A visit to Toronto was next on the schedule. A tied 2-2 first period and then a 3-2 Flyer lead in the second that crumbled in the third. The Maple Leafs put on an offensive show scoring four unanswered goals by four different Toronto players. Definitely, a tough game for the Flyers to drop. The tough loss didn’t last as they had to go back home and host the Wild. A first period that had the Wild in front only to be answered by the home team. As was the case in the second period. A tight 2-2 game with the third period to play. Flyers would finally grasp a lead scoring on the power play was Brayden Schenn. With the lead in hand, the Wild tried to tie it up by pulling their goalie for the extra attacker. In the final seconds of the game, Eric Staal had a glorious chance but Steve Mason made a huge pad save denying the Wild to tie it and winning the game for Philadelphia.
There were three more games for the Flyers at home following that win over the Wild. The Senators came into town in which an equal exchange of goals forced overtime and shootout after a 2-2 regulation end. A five round long shootout the was lost by the Flyers when Erik Karlsson scored the only shot. The streaky Jets were next into town. A dominant opening period for Philadelphia leaving them with a 2-0 lead. The Jets would try a comeback scoring and only to have Streit score for the Flyers but then another Jets goal. 3-2 was the score after second period the Flyers lead had diminished to just one. Simmonds would add to the lead and then Manning would secure the win with an empty-net goal. An impressive 5-2 win over Winnipeg. The Bolts came into Philadelphia with hungry to continue their win streak. The Bolts would put on a solid game scoring once in each period and holding the Flyers to none thanks to a solid performance from net minder Andrei Vasilevskiy with 30 saves against Philadelphia. A bad end to the four game home-stand of the Flyers with the 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay.
A two game back to back road trip to Florida was next on the schedule of the Flyers. First was the Florida Panthers. The Flyers learned about being solid scoring one goal in each period. Simmonds scored the first goal, in the opening period followed by a second period power play goal from Dale Weise, and then a third period power play goal from Nick Cousins. The Panthers would score being the only blemish on Mason’s 38 save performance and the Flyers 3-1 win. Revenge was set as the Flyers would go to Tampa Bay a team they had lost to just the previous week. A goal for the Bolts in the closing seconds of the opening period to give them a lead at intermission. In the middle frames, Philadelphia would come out to score twice giving them a lead with the third period still to play. The Flyers had a similar fate in the third period as they did with Toronto. The ice tilted in favor of the Bolts netting 3 unanswered goals while blanking the Flyers to win the game 4-2. Another tough loss to the Bolts. Black Friday was a home game for the Flyers as they hosted the New York Rangers. A bad two periods for the Flyers trailing 3-0 after 40 minutes of play. Luck changed for them as Chris VandeVelde got a fortuitous bounce past Lundqvist to put the Flyers on the board. A late third period goal with the goalie off for the extra attacker, from Shayne Gostisbehere would make it 3-2 Flyers still trailing. Philadelphia couldn’t rally back to tie and lost the game 3-2 at home.
There was two more games at Wells Fargo Center in November. The Calgary Flames would visit the Flyers. Anthony Stolarz was making his season debut in net for Philadelphia. A first period that had both teams score a goal. The second period was all Flyers as they would find the net 3 times. 4-1 was the score after the second period in favor of the Flyers. The Flames would try to tackle the three goal deficit, by scoring a goal that was answered by the Flyer’s rookie Roman Lyubimov. The Flames would score another goal in the third but it wasn’t enough the Flyers took a 5-3 win, while Stolarz made 29 saves on the night. The final game of the month was against the Boston Bruins. A great Flyer’s first period leading 2-0 and holding onto it till the third period in which the Bruins managed to tie it 2-2 and force overtime and a shoot out. In the shoot out both teams were scoreless till the 5th round in which both teams scored and prolonged the shoot out. It reached a nine round shootout in which Shayne Gostisbehere scored for the Flyers and David Backes was denied by Mason to end the game 3-2 in favor of the Flyers. Mason had a good game with 45 saves on the night. With that win the month of November ended for Philadelphia.
Team Leaders at the end of November
The team leaders so far are Wayne Simmonds who leads both goals and points. Simmonds has 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points. Claude Giroux leads the team in assists with 15. Giroux is also tied in second for the team in points with 20 points. Jakub Voracek also has 20 points (8 goals, 12 Assists). Brayden Schenn also has a good amount of points which would be expected for Gostisbehere rather than Schenn. Schenn has 14 points (3 goals 11 assists) he’s managed to find his way onto the score sheet and leads defenders on the teams in points. The goalie positions seems to be Mason as starter and Neuvirth as backup and Stolarz has made a lone appearance. Mason has 6 team wins while Neuvirth has 4 not very good for either of them as the neither are stellar in net. This could be a set back down the season stretch that should be looked at.
The Flyers need to close out games and prevent from shutting down in third periods like they did against the Maple Leafs and the Lightning. It has cost them 4 points and isn’t something that a playoff hockey team does. The power play is good and scoring with their goalie pulled is another good trend for the Flyers. With better game management they can keep games close and utilize the goalie pulled and power play to force games into overtime and the shoot out that they do well in. That would also help them at least gain a point rather than zero. With some improvement the Flyers can get back on the right track as there is still plenty of the season to play.
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