The Flyers have strung together what seems like their best stretch of games all year. Be it the lineup changes or some other unforeseen catalyst, this team has legitimately come alive at even strength. After a season of abject mediocrity at 5v5, it's bewildering to see them round into form just in time to make a playoff push.
For the 4th straight game, the defense has held the opposition to 10 scoring chances or less. Washington was doubled up in scoring chances at evens and relied heavily on their PP to generate quality looks on Zepp.
Home/Away Chance Locations
Claude Giroux and Michael Raffl are oozing chemistry of late, despite being held off the scoreboard at 5v5 again. If this level of play keeps up, they'll be due points and soon.
The same can't be said for Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek. If not for the game winning goal(when he was double shifting on the Bellemare line) Voracek wouldn't have a single touch on a scoring chance. It's rare to see Jake go a single period without generating a quality look at 5v5, let alone an entire game.
Brayden Schenn's line cooled off a touch offensively and had some miscues in their own end. But at the individual level Ryan White continues to impress. Like Voracek, he saw some ice time away from his linemates and took advantage.
The offensive struggles of Read, Couturier, and Jake might be explained in part by Craig Berube stapling them to Nick Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin for the majority of the game.
Claude Giroux's line had a doubly impressive outing, shredding both the Capitals top line and their top checking unit centered by Eric Fehr.
Not surprisingly, Berube chose to shelter his 3rd and 4th line as much as possible and they handled their less taxing assignments well enough.
Has anyone checked Nick Grossmann and Andrew MacDonald's houses for body snatcher pods recently? Because they've miraculously been replaced by viable albeit sheltered, NHL defenseman.
Also clocking in with another strong performance is the Coburn and Del Zotto pairing. They've both been visible pushing the pace offensively with smart, and quick pinches to keep cycles alive. The downside is they have been suspect in the defensive zone from time to time.
We might have to christen Claude Giroux and Michael Raffl as the new "dynamic duo" if Berube sticks with this revamped top-6.