One can’t argue the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers are on a three-game winning streak. It is, factually, impossible. However, one could argue that this particular winning streak hasn’t been pretty in the least bit.
Any type of win was going to be welcomed last Monday when the Orange and Black beat the Calgary Flames to snap their 10-game losing streak, but it’s not hard to see how that win, or either of the two that have followed, could have been considered poor in terms of process. It seems that whatever luck they weren’t getting when they were hitting posts and losing games in overtime during the losing streak has been found over the last three tilts.
Despite the fact they have a 37.9 Corsi-for percentage at 5-on-5 since last Monday (the lowest in the league over that time), the Flyers have outscored opponents seven to four for a 63.64 goals for percentage, which is the sixth-best in the league over the last seven days. Other than the high goals for percentage, not many of the Flyers’ 5-on-5 numbers look all that great:
Flyers’ 5-on-5 numbers over last three games
Shot attempts: 94 for, 154 against (37.9 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts: 76 for, 111 against (40.64 percent)
Shots on goal: 58 for, 81 against (41.73 percent)
Shot attempts from home-plate area: 58 for, 89 against (39.46 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts from home-plate area: 43 for, 51 against (45.74 percent)
With each of these percentages coming in under 50, it doesn’t look like the Flyers’ recent string of success is all that sustainable. It looks as though Dave Hakstol’s recent change in lines has changed the team’s luck for the better and not much else. A deeper look at the 5-on-5 shot attempts show that none of the four lines are doing that great.
Claude Giroux - Sean Couturier - Wayne Simmonds
Shot attempts: 26 for, 35 against (42.62 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts: 18 for, 25 against (41.86 percent)
Shots on goal: 9 for, 17 against (34.62 percent)
Shot attempts from home-plate area: 14 for, 24 against (36.84 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts from home-plate area: 9 for, 15 against (37.5 percent)
Despite leading the new four lines with 36:30 ice time at 5-on-5 during the current winning streak, the trio of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Wayne Simmonds have yet to be on the ice for a goal for or against while posting a 42.62 Corsi-for percentage. After a rough outing against Calgary (31.82 Corsi-for percentage, 31.25 fenwick for percentage, 25 percent of home-plate area shot attempts), Giroux-Couturier-Simmonds posted a 48.72 Corsi-for percentage and 42.31 percent of the shot attempts in the home-plate area overall against Edmonton and Vancouver.
The trios of Sean Monahan-Johnny Gaudreau-Michael Ferland (66.67 Corsi-for percentage and 71.43 percent of shot attempts from the home-plate area) and Mikael Backlund-Michael Frolik-Matthew Tkachuk (70 Corsi-for percentage and 2-0 count in unblocked shot attempts from the home-plate area) took it to the new top line before the line of Ryan Strome-Leon Draisaitl-Drake Caggiula posted a 71.43 Corsi-for percentage and had 100 percent of the shot attempts from the home-plate area with three chances.
Giroux-Couturier-Simmonds rebounded to a degree against the Canucks, as they posted a 50 Corsi-for percentage against the Brendan Gaunce-Markus Granlund-Jake Virtanen unit along with 57.14 percent of the shot attempts and home-plate area shot attempts against the Sedins and Vanek.
Michael Raffl - Valtteri Filppula - Jakub Voracek
Shot attempts: 28 for, 36 against (43.75 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts: 24 for, 24 against (50 percent)
Shots on goal: 20 for, 17 against (54.05 percent)
Shot attempts from home-plate area: 18 for, 16 against (52.94 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts from home-plate area: 14 for, 6 against (70 percent)
With the second-most ice time among the new four lines, Michael Raffl-Valtteri Filppula-Jakub Voracek posted the highest (yet unimpressive) Corsi-for percentage of 43.75 with three goals for and zero goals against. Although they had a 39.62 Corsi-for percentage through the first two games of the winning streak, the second line produced a 63.64 Corsi-for percentage against the Canucks on Thursday.
The overall possession numbers aren’t too flattering, but Raffl-Filppula-Voracek have produced 52.94 percent of the shot attempts and 70 percent of the unblocked shot attempts (including all three of their goals) from the home-plate area.
Following a game against Calgary where they lost the overall shot-attempt count to the lines of Curtis Lazar-Garnet Hathaway-Troy Brouwer and Monahan-Gaudreau-Ferland despite holding the upper hand in quality chances (47.37 Corsi-for percentage, but 57.14 percent of the shot attempts from the home-plate area featuring a pair of goals), Raffl-Filppula-Voracek posted a 50 Corsi-for percentage against the lines of Connor McDavid-Jesse Puljujarvi-Milan Lucic and the Sedins with Loui Eriksson, as well as producing all four of the shot attempts from the home-plate area.
Jordan Weal - Scott Laughton - Taylor Leier
Shot attempts: 16 for, 24 against (40 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts: 13 for, 19 against (40.63 percent)
Shots on goal: 11 for, 15 against (42.31 percent)
Shot attempts from home-plate area: 12 for, 11 against (52.17 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts from home-plate area: 9 for, 7 against (56.25 percent)
In 26:45 of 5-on-5 ice time together over the last three games, the line of Jordan Weal-Scott Laughton-Taylor Leier has posted a 40 corsi for percentage and produced one goal to the opponents’ zero. After a slight advantage in overall possession (53.57 corsi for percentage) and huge advantage in quality attempts (75 percent of the unblocked shot attempts from the home plate area) in the games against Calgary and Edmonton, Weal-Laughton-Leier got pushed around against the Canucks. After Alexander Burmistrov teamed up with Gaunce and Eriksson for a 100 corsi for percentage (3-0) with two attempts being unblocked shot attempts from the home-plate area when the game was actually competitive, he joined Virtanen and Nikolay Goldobin for a 3-0 shot attempt count for Philly’s third line in the game’s final minute.
Weal-Laughton-Leier’s best game of the win streak was the Oilers’ game, where they posted an 80 corsi for percentage against both the Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Michael Cammalleri-Patrick Maroon and Mark Letestu-Zack Kassian-Jujhar Khaira lines while owning six of the seven unblocked shot attempts from the home-plate area.
Travis Konecny - Nolan Patrick - Dale Weise
Shot attempts: 3 for, 35 against (7.89 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts: 3 for, 26 against (10.34 percent)
Shots on goal: 3 for, 19 against (13.64 percent)
Shot attempts from home-plate area: 0 for, 22 against (0 percent)
Unblocked shot attempts from home-plate area: 0 for, 13 against (0 percent)
There is no reason this line of Travis Konecny-Nolan Patrick-Dale Weise should be together anymore. Over the last three games, this trio has posted a 7.89 Corsi-for percentage in 15:37 of ice time together. If the 7.89 Corsi-for percentage didn’t make you wince, these three have generated three shot attempts at 5-on-5 together during the win streak (one a game) to the 35 they have allowed (over two shot attempts per minute).
Konecny-Patrick-Weise posted a 10.53 Corsi-for percentage against the Flames, 16.67 Corsi-for percentage against the Oilers, and zero (zero shot attempts for, 13 against) against the Canucks. The three have also been outshot in the home-plate area 22-0, as they were outshot 11-0 from here against Calgary and 9-0 against Vancouver.
Right now, the lineup is working. It helped to end the losing streak and, with the help of Brian Elliott’s play, has been producing wins. However, if each line is going to fail to break even in terms of possession each game, it’s going to be hard for the team to keep rattling off victories.