In a game where it looked like the Flyers might dominate, then one the Oilers might dominate, to a trap fest in the 3rd period, the Wayne Train stole the show. The Flyers kept Connor McDavid in check essentially the entire game - and as demonstrated by the rest of the NHL to start the year, that is not an easy thing to do!
Overall, this was possibly Philadelphia’s most impressive win of the season yet.
The ... the hockey team the Flyers can keep up with Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers? WHAT IS LIFE.
As surprising as it may sounds, the Flyers dominated the pace of play for practically the entire period. The first line of Giroux-Couturier-Voracek seemingly never left the offensive zone, generating scoring chances and keeping the Oilers pinned in their own zone.
Just three minutes into the game, Oilers center Brad Malone high sticked Radko Gudas and the Flyers were off to their first powerplay of the game. It wouldn’t take long for the top unit to work its magic as a Shayne Gostisbehere shot was blocked and slid right to Claude Giroux who buried the rebound, 1-0 Philadelphia.
For the remainder of the period, the Flyers rarely were met with a serious flurry of chances by Edmonton. All four lines were having at least half-decent shifts and the only reason it’s half-decent is because of the second line of Lehtera-Filppula-Simmonds.
Both Cam Talbot and Brian Elliott put together solid periods, making some key saves to keep the game 1-0 with Talbot facing the majority of the chances.
Flyers CF% leaders after 1:
- Sanheim - 72.73
- Weise (WHOA) - 71.43
- Patirck - 71.43
Gameflow after 1:
So I’m starting to think the Oilers were just sleeping during that first period because OH BOY were they alive in the second.
Philadelphia could only muster eleven attempts in the second period and I’m surprised the total was even that high. After receiving an early power play in the form of a slashing call on Matt Benning, the Flyers could not capitalize and soon found themselves at the mercy of McDavid and the Oilers.
Anything I could say about this period does not fully describe how bad it got so let me just show the gameflow once again and shield your eyes.
Other than the small burst at the end of the second period, the Flyers were hemmed in their own zone for the majority of the period. Unsuccessful breakouts, poor coverage in their own zone — you name a mistake? The Flyers made it in the period.
As one might expect when sustaining that much pressure in one period, the Oilers did finally light the lamp on a seemingly harmless shot. Who scored it you ask? None other than former Flyers prospect Pat Maroon (BECAUSE OF COURSE IT’S PAT MAROON).
About the only good news for the Flyers is that after the second this game is still tied with 20 minutes to play.
Flyers CF% leaders:
- Gudas - 64.71
- Lehtera - 64.29
- Filppula - 60
HELLO PASSENGERS WELCOME ABOARD TO THE WAYNE TRAIN
For a game between two teams who one would expect to create high event hockey all game long, the third period did the exact opposite. Compared to the first and second periods, which saw 37 and 31 combined attempts, the third only saw 26. This was apparent in traditional stats as well, with both teams ending the game at just 24 shots.
The Oilers received a huge chance with a penalty to Michael Raffl 8:56 into the final stretch, but the Flyers killed it off and it set up 10 minutes to decide if this would end in regulation. Otherwise, we would see our second overtime game of the young season.
Wayne Simmonds was having none of that.
Valtteri Filppula made a fantastic drive to the net after controlling the pass from Jori Lehtera, laid the puck in the perfect shooting spot for Simmonds and Mr. Train went top shelf on Talbot to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead which they would not relinquish.
In just eight games this season, Wayne Simmonds has recorded a hat trick, an OT GWG, and now a regulation GWG. In case you haven’t heard, he’s pretty good at the ice sport!
The Flyers record improves to 5-3-0 and the Oilers fall to 2-5-0, which leads to this question: are the hockey team, the Flyers, actually good?
Flyers leaders in CF vs Oilers:
- Gudas - 63.64
- Couturier - 60
- Giroux - 58.97