Sure, the Flyers would beat one of the best teams in hockey this year, in said team’s building, in a season where they’ve routinely been terrible on the road, and in the middle of a brutal stretch of games for the team, two days after a pretty terrible contest against a much worse Winnipeg team. That’s a thing that this year’s Flyers team would do.
But yes, they did that, picking up a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in Saint Paul. Let’s talk about it.
THE MOST FUN THING THAT HAPPENED TONIGHT:
Sean Couturier scored a super-nifty goal in the first period to tie the game up, as he would head towards the net, take a Brayden Schenn pass that was slightly behind him, bring it up between his legs to his forehand, and slam it past Devan Dubnyk.
The Flyers... SCORED A GOAL! pic.twitter.com/VpRm2zEULt— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 24, 2017
Raise your hand if you had Sean Couturier, who missed a month of the season, as the guy who would lead the team in 5-on-5 goals this season. There’s a lot that that says about this Flyers season, and not much of it is good, but still, not a bad stretch run for Couturier as the rest of the team has faltered.
A LESS FUN THING THAT HAPPENED TONIGHT, THOUGH I GUESS IN HINDSIGHT WE CAN LAUGH ABOUT IT:
Two minutes into the game, Steve Mason sort of fumbled a long pass all the way from the Minnesota defensive zone, and then couldn’t get a hold of the puck on a scramble in front, allowing Zach Parise to swoop in and pick up a goal for the home team.
Steve, man. What are you doin? pic.twitter.com/0d8CoO2bwk— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 24, 2017
The initial rebound was not considered a shot, meaning Mason had given up a goal on his first shot of the night. Given Mason’s, uh, recent history with extremely long shots turning into goals, you could be forgiven for being worried about the game starting out like this.
That was it! Mason — making his seventh straight start, for whatever reason — made some other nice saves and denied every one of the Wild’s other 24 shots. The past week or so hasn’t been great for him, but tonight was a nice bounce-back.
IT’S BETTER TO BE LUCKY THAN TO BE THE FLYERS, BUT EVERY SO OFTEN YOU’RE BOTH:
With that said, he was probably fortunate that Minnesota didn’t double their lead early on. Case in point:
Zucker goes around MacDonald and Mason but completely misses the wrap around. Still 1-0. pic.twitter.com/YLWYazb52w— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) March 24, 2017
That’s a whooooooole lot of net that Jason Zucker decided not to place that puck into. Bless him for that. Also, uh ... Andrew? You OK over there?
WHO SCORED THE WINNER?
The team dad, of course.
MEAT READ GIVES THE FLYERS THE LEAD pic.twitter.com/EViuFAfz6C— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 24, 2017
Read now has goals in consecutive games! And he did this in Minnesota, relatively close to noted Matt Read alma mater Bemidji State, so good for him.
WAS THIS ACTUALLY A GOOD HOCKEY GAME?
Is any game in the final few weeks of this wretched season really a good hockey game?
But seriously, the Flyers started this one out very slowly but were able to tighten up significantly as the game went on, even limiting the Wild to just four shots on goal in a third period where they led throughout. Against one of the best teams in the league this year? It’s a performance to be pleased with.
AND NOW, A QUESTION THAT I, ALLEGEDLY AN ADULT, GENUINELY ASKED MYSELF DURING THIS GAME:
“Is the thing in the Minnesota Wild’s logo wearing the sun as a hat?”
As my BSH colleague Al K. suggested to me, the sun may be the ear of that thing, whatever it is. Or it may just be, like ... the sun. I don’t know, man. These are the questions I ask myself with 10 games left in a lost season. Let’s go to bed, everyone. (On that note, this is the Flyers’ final game of the year with a start time at or after 8:00 p.m., so that’s something else to celebrate.)
Nine more games left this season, starting with a back to back in Columbus and Pittsburgh this weekend. See you then.