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Flyers vs. Islanders recap: The dumbest, most fun team in hockey squeaks out another one

Seriously, I hate them

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

I think I hate this team, you guys. I love them so much, but I really do think I hate them.

We can write the script at this point: typically it’s been a terrible first period and some sort of miraculous, bullshit comeback that they don’t deserve in the waning minutes of the contest. They usually force overtime and get a point, or maybe they even win the game.

Tonight wasn’t quite that. Well, the win part was. They pulled this thing out in the final minutes of the third period, and then were able to win it in the shootout by a score of 3-2. (YES, THE FLYERS ARE 2-0 IN SHOOTOUTS THIS SEASON.) Goals were scored by Travis Konecny and Meat Read, and by two Islanders players who I don’t care about.

But this game as whole was a little off the usual script. The Flyers were the better team for much of the hockey game. They were running circles around the Islanders for much of it, to be honest.

I’ll be honest: I was at the bar for a bit, and then my Internet was down, so I was kind of in and out watching the first 30-ish minutes of this one.

But I know two things in this life: a) in exchange for four packs of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups each week, Charlie writes observations that are smarter than anything I could ever write about these games, which you’ll see in the morning. And, b) even with some beers and the game stream on a tiny pocket screen eating up all of my sweet, precious my 4G LTE data for the month, I could tell this was a game that the Flyers should have been running all over the Islanders. They were easily the superior team, as shown by the 42-27 shot differential and the 79-43 shot attempt differential. It’s the fourth time in the last six games that the Flyers have had more than 70 shot attempts, and that’s pretty damn fantastic.

Been a weird 12 games so far overall, though. The goaltending has been bad. Michal Neuvirth had another pretty mediocre-at-best night tonight, and that’s a real issue. And as a result, the Flyers lost a 1-0 lead, and then found themselves needing to come back from 2-1 down to tie it late. But the team in front of the crease — all it’s Fully Grown Adult Warts Masquerading As Humans and everything -- has been largely pretty solid. And they aren’t even at full strength health-wise. There’s a lot to be excited about.

This team has been frustrating and stressful and there are plenty of problems to sort out, but they are 6-5-1 now -- a winning record! — and they have been able to squeak out games like this all year long. That bodes well. See, even when I hate this team, I love them.

Here are some friggin’ highlights, OK?