After almost two weeks of taunting the hockey gods, the Flyers finally got their comeuppance on Tuesday. By every right, the Flyers should have won this game handily. For the most part, the right process was there.
They dominated in the chance and shot counts, doubling up Columbus at even strength and putting up bushels of chances on the powerplay.
With the exception of a few sequences here and there, the final two periods was the Philadelphia Flyers show. Columbus was held to just 5 scoring chances total after the 1st period, while the Flyers racked up a staggering 18.
Home/Away Chance Locations
The top line finally exploded out of it's even strength funk with the help of Michael Raffl. (More on that later)
Brayden Schenn got demoted to the 4th line in this game, but I don't think that's entirely indicative of his play. His line took advantage of some sheltered minutes from Craig Berube to pin the Blue Jackets in the defensive zone and even nabbed the game tying goal in the 2nd period.
If I'm forced to be critical of anybody(and that's a difficult task when every line breaks even or better) it would be the Bellemare and Couturier lines. Both had missteps in the defensive zone then led to what little offensive pressure the Blue Jackets mustered.
I'm beginning to think Ryan Johansen is mislabeled as Columbus' "most dangerous forward" as Keith Jones put it. Outside of one fluky goal in the first period, Johansen's line got buried in chances against.
Meanwhile, Brandon Dubinsky is giving the Flyers fits. The Jackets "shut-down" center was on the only CBJ forward to exit this game with positive chance differential and his line played every match up to a draw or better. He was also on the ice for both of the Blue Jacket's third period goals.
The Coburn/Grossmann combination continues to defy all logic and play extremely well based on both the eye-test and the underlying stats. They didn't surrender a single chance against.
Also on a positive note, the Streit and Schultz pairing seemed to recover from what was an awful week of play for them and turned in a relatively strong performance at both ends of the ice.
Where the Flyers ran into real problems was with the Del Zotto and Schenn pairing. As has become their trademark, these two generated superfluous amounts of offensive chances at the expense of their d-zone play.
When it comes to creating offense, Voracek and Raffl stood head and shoulders above everyone else. They combined for half a dozen chances and it's a crime that they didn't get at least one even strength point out of this game.