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Flyers 3, Ducks 2: What we learned from an OT thriller

The Wayne Train!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Corsi Report

It’s your favorite part of the morning, Flyers fancy stats time! After reading this in the comments section my past two observations, I’ll be including the score/venue adjusted corsi numbers along with the raw numbers for each player and the team overall.

1st line: Giroux/Couturier/Voracek

Giroux Raw: (53.33) / Adjusted: (55.24)

Couturier Raw: (50) / Adjusted: (52.15)

Voracek Raw: (50) / Adjusted: (51.86)

Not the greatest night for this line but just like the rest of the team they came alive towards the end of the game. They also accounted for one of the Flyers’ two 5-on-5 goals last night (yes you read that right) with Voracek setting up Couturier on a beautiful goal.

2nd line: Weal/Filppula/Simmonds

Weal Raw: (53.85) / Adjusted: (56.70)

Filppula Raw: (50) / Adjusted: (53.10)

Simmonds Raw: (47.83) / Adjusted: (50.86)

Filppula took the spot of Nolan Patrick for this game on the “2nd line” and I can’t say I’m a fan of it or I hate it. Filppula had his moments of strong possession and solid playmaking, and then he had moments where I was screaming at the TV wondering what the hell he was thinking. This line may not ever be an advanced stats dream, but if they can hang around 50% and create enough chances? I can live with it.

3rd line: Weise/Patrick/Konecny

Weise Raw: (27.78) / Adjusted: (30.15)

Patrick Raw: (47.37) / Adjusted: (49.63)

Konecny Raw: (45) / Adjusted: (47.62)

Yeah I vomited too when seeing Weise’s numbers.

Patrick moves to the “3rd line” and one could tell right off the bat that the combo of Patrick and Konecny could work wonders. They generated one of the first chances of the game with Patrick receiving a feed from Konecny on the rush and letting a shot go only to be robbed by Gibson. Despite not having a great metrics game, this line showed some promise as the game went on.

4th line: Leier/Laughton/Raffl

Leier Raw: (68.75) / Adjusted: (71.13)

Laughton Raw: (64.71) / Adjusted: (67.12)

Raffl Raw: (62.50) / Adjusted: (65.01)

There’s not much else to say about this line besides it is so nice to finally have this type of 4th line that drives play at a ridiculous rate. I can’t even remember the last time the Flyers had a 4th line with this much skill and it’s certainly showing early on this season.

1st pairing: Provorov/MacDonald

Provorov raw: (37.93) / Adjusted: (40.54)

MacDonald raw: (42.31) / Adjusted: (45.12)

This is one of those times where the numbers don’t always tell the full story. Provorov and MacDonald had a solid game. Provy denying many zone entries and breaking up passes. MacDonald, surprisingly enough, has put together two decent games after a dreadful opener.

2nd pairing: Hagg/Gostisbehere

Hagg raw: (42.11) / Adjusted: (44.51)

Gostisbehere raw: (54.55) / Adjusted: (57.31)

Probably the best game we’ve seen from these two out of the first three. Ghost was breaking up seemingly every single breakout by the Ducks especially in the neutral zone. Hagg continued his persona of having such a quiet game you sometimes forget he’s even on the ice.

3rd pairing: Sanheim/Gudas

Sanheim raw: (64) / Adjusted: (66.13)

Gudas raw: (56.67) / Adjusted: (58.90)

Oh yeah, that’s the good stuff.

Firstly, I love that Dave Hakstol went right back to Sanehim after a rough first NHL game. I don’t know for sure, but I find it hard to believe that the Hak of last season sends Sanheim right back out there. To put it simply, Sanheim looked like he belonged last night. Gudas was fantastic as well, laying the body smartly and effectively.

Team Performance

After two sluggish periods, the Flyers turned on the jets in the 3rd period, dominating the Ducks with 22 attempts for to only 9 against. This strong end to the game gave them a total advantage in raw CF%, 50.65 to 49.35. Adjusted, the Flyers look even better in this win edging the Ducks, 53.22 to 46.78.

One of the main struggles that have plagued the Flyers over the past few years is 5v5 scoring and tonight at the very least: it was solved. Both of their regulation goals were at 5v5, although the first was right as the power play was ending, but let’s not ruin this fun moment shall we?


Another theme that annoyed many of us last season was the amount of point shots. I don’t know if this is fixed or if we’re just seeing a glimmer of hope in a small sample size, but the amount of chances coming from in front of the net and in the slot are very encouraging to see.

Five Takeaways

1. 4th line continues to dominate in possession

What a breath of fresh air this is to not see Bellemare/VandeVelde on the 4th line on a nightly basis. The new influx of skill with Laughton/Raffl/Leier has been possibly my favorite thing about this team so far. Being able to put the 4th line out and not feel at a clear disadvantage is a wonderful thing.

2. Travis Sanheim bounces back

This was outstanding to see from the kid. Sanheim had a rough first game as many do in their debut (minus the Auston Matthews of the world), but he showed the kind of defenseman Flyers fans can expect with his performance tonight. Not hesitant to jump up in the play offensively, and getting more and more responsible in his own zone.

3. A dominating 3rd period

Other than the nonsense that was the Cam Fowler shorthanded goal, the Flyers manhandled the Ducks in the 3rd period. John Gibson had to stand on his head as he had done up to that point just to keep the Ducks in it and get the game to OT. Just take a look at the game flow as soon as the 3rd period begins — that’s exactly how you want a team to finish a game.

4. Nolan Patrick arrives

Other than scoring his first NHL point on a beautiful set up to fellow Brandon Wheat King Ivan Provorov, Nolan Patrick played a fantastic game. Paired with Travis Konecny for the first time this season at 5v5, Patrick was brilliant behind the net making even the difficult passes look extremely easy. This definitely seemed like Patrick’s best game so far out of his first three.

5. BAMF Brian Elliott outduels Gibson

John Gibson was out of this world last night, but Brian Elliott stood toe to toe with the Ducks netminder. Elliott looked much more calm and stable in net compared to a jittery and wild opening game. He made the easy saves and made the difficult ones when he desperately needed to obviously minus the two Anaheim goals. Elliott kept the Flyers in it while they were getting out-Corsi’d in the first two periods, which is something we couldn’t say about the goalies last season.

All stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.