There once was a time Jeremy Roenick scored a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It sent them into a nine-year playoff drought. They’ve made the playoffs once since 2004 and with a lineup of loaded young talent they look poised to return. The Flyers, a team of mismatched parts, came into tonight hoping to block the Leafs from returning to playoff hockey. However, after playing 60 minutes of lackluster hockey with sprinkles of hope placed in, they came out of Toronto four points from a playoff spot. Late-game heroics from Shayne Gostisbehere were not enough as the Flyers fell 4-2.
On a Thursday
Claude: Alright boys, we need this win. Our playoffs start now.
Radko: I hit things.
Michael D: Yo, check this new match I got on Tinder.
Claude: Michael, put your damn phone away, the game is starting.
Leafs DJ: Let me fire this crowd up. [plays ‘Party Like a Rockstar’]
Everyone knows the premier pump up song is the 2007 classic by Shop Boyz.
Brayden: Hey guys, I’m going to try and score but no promises, this isn't a powerplay.
Jake: Don’t worry I’ll use my patented move of strongly carrying the puck in but doing nothing with it.
Valtteri: Hi, I’m new here, let me pass the puck.
The new-look 2nd line of Brayden Schenn, Valtteri Filppula and Jake Voracek has been one of the best, if not the best line on the team in their recent stretch of games. The Brayden Schenn at center experiment can finally be put to rest after five years, and Voracek continues to prove he can play anywhere in the lineup. Filppula’s game compliments both players very nicely.
Claude: Hey Ghost, what was that thing you did a lot of last year?
Shayne: Dunno, increase the usage of ghost and bear emojis?
Claude: Nah man, this..
Shayne: [rips shot]
Wayne: Don’t mind if I do..
Was it Ghost.. Simmer?— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 10, 2017
Who cares 1-0 Flyers! pic.twitter.com/yURtUI8XEK
Brayden: Mac, don’t touch that its off sides!
Andrew: What? [touches puck]
Referee: [blows whistle] Offsides!
Brayden: What did I just tell you?
Andrew MacDonald was all over the place during the first period. Between taking an offsides that was 100 percent avoidable and slinging passes into purgatory, we’re still stuck wondering what happened to the AMac of early December.
Ivan: (In head) I guess I have to defend goals and score them.
Jake: Ivan! Ivan! Over here!
Ivan: [passes puck]
Zach Hyman: Not in my house.
Charlie Kelly: (In stands) [throws wristband]
Ivan Provorov continues to impress as the standout rookie was the clear-cut best defensemen for the Flyers this game. The thought of Provorov being a No. 1 shutdown defensemen for many years to come is enough to bring a smile to any Flyer fans face.
Travis: Maybe I can get off this 4th line if I score a goal.
Chris: Not if I have anything to say about it!
Travis Konecny had a fantastic scoring chance late in the first period, weaving in and out of the leafs with ease. He made it all the way to the front of the net, where he fired a shot. The rebound sat infront of an open net, where Chris VandeVelde deflected the puck back to the blueline.
END OF 1ST PERIOD
The Flyers played a fine first period. They didn’t look completely lost on the ice however they did not stand out. The game was tied going into the second, and it really could have went either way at this point. Michal Neuvirth didn’t allow six goals, like many fans expected.
START OF 2ND PERIOD
Connor Brown: Time to score as goal, the hockey kind!
Ivan: Dammit, don’t you know who I am? I’m Ivan Provorov and I do not allow hockey goals to be scored on this ice.
(Schenn and Filppula on 2-on-1)
Valtteri: Schenner, here take this nice sauce pass
Brayden: I like it saucy (Shot is saved)
Michael D: (Coming in from the point) Heyyy guys I got three more matches during the intermission.
Michael D: Oh hey, the puck. [shoots puck]
Brayden: Dammit Michael, if you put as much effort on the ice as you do tinder, you’d be Bobby Orr.
Filppula and Schenn have continued to show chemistry on the ice. Chemistry with a linemate is something we’re not used to seeing with Brayden Schenn.
Tyler Bozak: (Thinking to himself) Ya know I need to prove them I dont need Kessel to succeed in the NHL.
Tyler Bozak: [snipes goal]
Michal N: Oh! A puck! I should stop those!
Tyler Bozak scored an unassisted goal to give Toronto the 2-1 lead midway through the second period. Bozak walked right through the Flyers defense ... and the forwards ... and the goalie. Here is some groundbreaking analysis from our very own Steph Driver.
March 10, 2017
Jim Jackson: And that brings us to our next segment, the ‘Fearless Play of the Game’.
(Somewhere in the distance Kurt can be heard screaming)
(Leo Komarov left wide open, takes a shot)
Michal N: I’m getting really sick and tired of you guys leaving me out to dry
Steve: (On the bench) Yeah, but Neuvy, your face is stupid!
Nick S: (In the pressbox) Classic!
While fans might pin this loss on Michal Neuvirth, he played a fairly solid game and gave the Flyers a chance to win. It is not his fault the team didn’t score a second goal until there were only two minutes left in the game.
END OF 2ND PERIOD
Well, the Flyers were not in a spot that favored them, but they were only down one goal at this point and had a full period left to play. Maybe Hakstol could give them a Herb Brooks-esque speech. With the ups and downs this team has had this year, and their season riding on this next period they should have came out with fire in their eyes.
START OF 3RD PERIOD
Claude: Alright boys, this period is our season. As the wise Jack Black once said in the 2004 hit School of Rock, LET’S KICK SOME ASS.
Wayne: CHOO CHOO LETS DO THIS
Chris: YEAH! Can’t wait for Hak to put ME out with 2 minutes left in the third.
Pierre: Oh heck yeah!
Michal N: Is anyone gonna score? I’m going to get ripped by the fans if you don’t.
Ivan: Don’t worry, I’m Ivan Provorov, a.k.a. the man, and I’ve got this
Andrew: [turns puck over]
Michal N: Andrew, that is not what I meant!
Neuvirth’s steady play continued into the third. The Flyers, however, looked flat; they came out of the locker room looking like a team ready for nap time, not the playoffs.
Jordan: Hey remember that time you guys stuck me on a line with Umberger?
Hakstol: No, who are you and when did you get in my lineup?
Jason Akeson: (from a distance, in Michael Scofield voice) That’s my brother.
Jordan Weal continues to impress, isn’t it amazing when you give a guy an actual chance with NHL level linemates? While Weal might never sniff the center position in the NHL, he does have a chance of becoming a steady winger and has performed very well alongside of Claude Giroux.
Nikita Zaitsev: (pushes Giroux down)
Claude: My leg!
Referee: Alright, that’s it, I haven’t called a penalty since the first period and need to make it look like I’m doing my job.
Referee: #22 to the box, two min for tripping.
The Flyers were given a prime opportunity to tie the game midway through the third after Leafs defensemen Nikita Zaitsev tripped up Claude Giroux. Jordan Weal would get a fantastic scoring chance 15 seconds into the power play, but that is all she wrote. The Flyers could not get set up in the zone and nearly gave up a shorthanded goal in the process.
Mitch Marner: I’m here to chew bubblegum and score goals, and I’m all out of gum.
(Marner scores goal)
Michal N: Dammit guys, now I’m never going to hear the end of this from Steve
Steve: (In head) I wonder where I can get a good hotdog after the game.
[Writers note: The above line is reference to Full House]
Michael D: Oh shit, six more matches!
Mitch Marner stuck the dagger into the Flyers scoring to give the Leafs a 3-1 lead with less then 10 minutes to go. But if the Maple Leafs have taught us anything, never trust a 4-1 lead. (Well, except in this case, because it was only 3-1.)
Shayne: Dammit, if I don’t do something I’m getting scratched for another game.
Valtteri: Hold on, man, watch this.
Hakstol: (to self) Just scratch him anyway, Dave.
Ghosty goal! pic.twitter.com/4uAemt06N1— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 10, 2017
Shayne Gostisbehere scored his second goal in 38 games to pull the Flyers within one, with not much time remaining in the third period.
Claude: C’mon boys, one more goal and this we’re right back in this.
Wayne: Somebody shoot so I can deflect a damn shot.
Claude: Ghost no! Don’t turn it over!
(Ghost turns over)
Nazem Kadri: I am score.
Nazem Kadri twisted the dagger already in the Flyers by scoring an empty net goal.
3RD PERIOD ENDS
In typical Flyers fashion, they kept it interesting until the end ultimately to drain all fans of any hope they had left. The Flyers now sit four points from the second wildcard spot in the East, with their playoff hopes dwindling. They're back in action Saturday afternoon in Boston.