The last time the Flyers faced the Sharks, I was but a cherub, unwise to the ways of the world, the ways this team would proceed to take my hope and crush it in their hands like the puny, flimsy thing it is. That was the night I positively lost my mind and delivered perhaps the most unhinged article of my existence, and by some miracle, it was published anyway. Three days later, I got laid off from my job. Coincidence? Absolutely not. Just more hell hath this team wrought upon my life.
I started this game off with a healthy dose of pessimism, but about halfway through, I started to believe that maybe it was time for luck to go our way. It’s been a long time since the Flyers and their bad energy caused me to lose my job, which is definitely why that happened, and no other reason. Some hidden, innocent part of me told me it’s okay to want good things again. It’s okay to believe in good things again. What would be the harm in that?
Anyway, they lost.
Hapless play in all zones held the Flyers back all night in all areas except the scoreboard, and then later on, also the scoreboard. It looked like they might be able to pull it off, but they did not, and that’s just the way life goes sometimes. The Flyers played yet another game of hockey tonight, and we will all have to atone for it.
That was... fun? Fun! pic.twitter.com/uUAtRyf07t— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 4, 2018
In an inverse repeat of the home opener, the first goal of the period would not take long to get scored; this time, by our faithful orange boys. How about that, huh? Nolan Patrick took initiative on the first shift of the game and put one behind Martin Jones, making people all around Philadelphia say, “What????” to their screens.
Patrick opens up the scoring! pic.twitter.com/9xf0CeSGRH— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 4, 2018
Of course, it is very Flyers to get us all hot and bothered and then wind up underwhelming. The next few minutes would be dominated almost completely by the Sharks, and it was maybe some of the worst hockey I’ve seen the Flyers play since the manifested eldritch horror that was the home opener. The tying goal felt more than inevitable—it just felt right. Timo Meier put one behind Calvin Pickard at 3:15, and it only made sense.
The response by the Flyers, tied 1-1 early in the period, can only be described as “woeful.” What are some synonyms of that word? Abysmal. Dreadful. Hopeless. Shameful. Anyway, they played terribly. It was some bad hockey.
Let me look at my notes here. Ah, it just says “Flyers collapse. They don’t look good. It’s all Sharks. My God it’s just all Sharks.”
We deserved to be down at least 5-1 by the time the Sharks would get their first penalty of the night off a Travis Konecny slashing call at 11:35. By some miracle, some benevolent cosmic energy, the Flyers managed to not give up a goal here, but it was close. Every time I heard Erik Karlsson’s name I felt the cold grip of death on the back of my neck, and yet we got out unscathed. Hey, neat.
It continued to be all Sharks with no filler when, inexplicably, Jordan Weal scored the go-ahead goal. It surprised me, in the pleasant way. That’s just a good shot by our buddy Jordan, top-shelf where mama keeps the Excedrin Migraine, and it’s 2-1 Flyers.
A weally good shot puts the Flyers up 2-1! pic.twitter.com/WWSz3Blvpr— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 4, 2018
An underwhelming power play by the Flyers closed out the period. Seriously, you don’t need to hear about it. Blah blah second unit sucks blah blah. Let’s move on.
AFTER ONE: 2-1 Flyers, shots 16-9 Sharks
This period started off looking pretty good, mostly because we saw a nice scoring chance by Jake Voracek but also because I heard the earnest phrase, “Voracek got deep penetration.”
Already, the Flyers looked better, which is not saying much. Sort of like walking into the bathroom at a dilapidated Rite Aid and thinking, “Ah, well, this is better than I was expecting.” They even looked like they might score. They obviously did not do that, but it was exciting to feel that way.
The Flyers would go to their second power play of the night on a delay of game penalty assessed to Karlsson at 2:47. I am not equipped with statistics or anything here, but the Sharks do seem to love their delay of game penalties this year. (Source: literally just two games that I watched.)
The Flyers did not score, but a couple times it looked close, which counts for something I’m sure. They gave up a shorthanded opportunity to Logan Couture, certifiably a thing you should not be doing if you intend to win hockey games, but Pickard managed to keep it out. What a guy, that fella. He could be doing a lot worse here, and not for nothing, he’s the only reason the game looked winnable at this point.
Despite the Flyers racking up more shots than the Sharks through the first half of the period, the ice still did not look tilted in their favor. It was certainly a more admirable effort than the first period, but the Sharks were clearly the better team. Such is life.
Claude Giroux would go to the box for a hooking penalty at 9:58. Bold of anyone in the NHL to act as if Claude Giroux has ever done anything wrong in his life. Off to the penalty kill, which we’ve now learned is bad and not good.
Ah, and it would seem our bad-and-not-good penalty kill struck again. Joe Pavelski, who was definitely left uncovered in the wrong spot, scored a nice and pretty one. Tie game, who would’ve thought? Well, except for me and almost everybody else forced to watch the same un-aggressive penalty kill every damn night.
The rest of the period looked pretty bad for the Flyers, except for the part near the end where it looked good. With just 30 seconds left to play, Voracek netted one behind Jones off a killer pass from Lindblom, and hahahahahaha, I mean holy shit, what the hell.
Pretty sure Oskar Lindblom is the best passer from behind the net in the history of the NHL. pic.twitter.com/52VqhZNK4W— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 4, 2018
AFTER TWO: 3-2 Flyers, shots 25-18 Sharks
It’s after midnight now. Good morning, Flyers, let’s get this bread.
In a well-intentioned attempt to defend on a breakaway chance, Radko Gudas would serve some time in the penalty box for a tripping call. A familiar story.
Despite Pickard struggling with his rebounds as he was most of the game, the penalty kill managed to pull it off this time. How thrilling. This could be largely due to the fact that the Sharks have had absolutely no puck luck all night, but personally, we’ll take what we can get.
Following that penalty kill, most of the period was all Sharks again. They continued to have strong chances in the offensive zone, but things just wouldn’t quite go their way. Just one of those days. The score of this game absolutely should be an exact reflection of the home opener, but every so often, God is on our side, and we experience divine intervention.
The Flyers would go to the man advantage on a too many men penalty on the Sharks. Ha, well, if you ask me, any time there’s ANY men on the ice, it’s too many—
Ah, so you’ve heard that one before? Well.
Anyway, the power play was not very good. Our special teams could stand to be a bit more special.
I started to believe in this team, felt the warmth of hope bubbling up from a hidden well somewhere inside me, sweet like confection and sour like bile, and then Joe Thornton scored his first goal since January 21st.
I deserved that. I know. Tie game, with a mere five minutes left to play.
I’m skipping ahead to overtime, because if I tell you how the rest of the period went, you’ll just want them to lose almost as much as I do. No one deserves to be this fatalist, only me, your illustrious recapper. Thank you.
AFTER THREE: 3-3, shots 35-24 Sharks
Bonus hockey, several hours past my bedtime? What an utter delight.
Oh, thank god. 13 seconds in, and Meier scored off a feed from Couture. That’s the game. Goodnight everyone.
AFTER OT: 4-3 Sharks, shots 36-24 Sharks