The Flyers finished up an abysmal season on the road with another loss in what was a...less-than-exciting game ending in a 3-2 shootout loss. On the season the Flyers only managed 10 road wins.
The first period wasn't a pretty one for the Flyers as they found themselves on the wrong end of both the possession battle and the scoreboard. Shot attempts were 16-10 in favor of the Hurricanes and Elias Lindholm gave the 'Canes a 1-0 lead after one. Michael Del Zotto got himself turned around by Jordan Staal which gave him a clean look to the net for a shot. Emery kicked a juicy rebound back into the slot which Lindholm quickly deposited in the back of the net.
The Flyers' play improved a bit after the first, but not before Jordan Staal gave the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead only a few minutes into the second. Nicklas Grossmann did Nicklas Grossmann things with the puck on his stick in the neutral zone. Jordan Staal pounced on him, took the puck away and skated in on a two-on-one and scored cleanly.
Sean Couturier had a valiant effort in bringing the Flyers back in this one. Still in the second, with their first power play opportunity of the game, Couturier got a quick shot through from the point which was deflected by Michael Raffl to cut the Hurricanes lead to one. Later, with only 1:50 remaining the game, a bouncing puck found its way to Couturier all alone in front of the net. He showed quick hands to deke Cam Ward and slide it through his five-hole to tie the game 2-2.
Ultimately, this game found its way to the shootout. Nathan Gerbe and Chris Terry made Ray Emery look quite silly on the Hurricanes' first two attempts. Nick Cousins countered with a nice goal to make it 2-1, and Emery stopped Victor Rask giving Claude Giroux a chance to tie it. He was unable to do so though, giving the Hurricanes the 3-2 shootout victory.
- Jake Voracek was point-less ending a five game point streak and putting his Art Ross chances in serious trouble; especially given Sidney Crosby has managed a goal this afternoon (and the Penguins are still playing as of writing this).
- The turnover by Grossmann in the neutral zone to give the Hurricanes the 2-0 lead was particularly brutal. We all know Grossmann is a butcher with the puck on his stick, but it's just so tough to watch sometimes. One thing that I couldn't help but think right away was that a player like Jason Akeson was essentially banished from the club for some neutral zone turnovers of his own during his short stint this season. Meanwhile, Grossmann would almost certainly never see even reduced minutes.
However, "process over results" is something I've always preached with respect to hockey. This particular instance of Grossmann's turnover leading directly to a goal is a single "result", and I don't want to give it more weight than it should. Akeson's "process" is perhaps more likely to result in neutral zone turnovers than Grossmann's "process", because Akeson is a skilled player and is more apt to try to make a play between the bluelines than Grossmann is. At this point I'm just rambling but...give me the talented forward trying to make a play (that theoretically has help behind him), than the defenseman who is an absolute butcher with the puck and more often than not throws the puck down the ice (which is often just an unofficial turnover) as opposed to risking what happened to him this afternoon with Staal.
- I chuckled to myself when Jim Jackson mentioned early in the first period that Grossmann was leading the team in plus-minus this season. Meanwhile, he is a -121 in shot attempt differential on the season; worst on the team.
- Brandon Manning had a very impressive penalty kill where he single-handedly tied the puck up on the boards for what seemed like an eternity.
- Speaking of Brandon Manning, I purposely didn't look at individual shot attempt numbers because to my eyes it seemed pretty clear that the pairing of Brandon Manning and Carlo Colaiacovo was the best the Flyers had. Checking the numbers afterward revealed that that was true. Manning led the team with a +6 shot attempt differential, while Colaiacovo was a +4.
- Grossmann and Mark Streit were an abysmal -11 and -14 respectively.