Flyers CF% leaders vs. Arizona
Flyers xGF% leaders vs. Arizona
This is one of those hockey games where you look at all the advanced stats and think, “Hmm ... hockey is stupid” and just smash your computer. The top three Flyers in raw CF% were Brandon Manning, Radko Gudas, and Nolan Patrick. While Patrick makes sense, the pairing of Manning and Gudas were a shock. By the eye-test, I didn’t think either of them played especially well. Gudas was even gone from the game after turning over the puck on Zac Rinaldo’s goal.
Comparatively, the bottom three in CF% for the Flyers were Sean Couturier, Ivan Provorov, and Claude Giroux. Granted, I don’t think Couturier or Provorov had the best of games so this does make sense, but it’s not what you expect to see.
The second line was quite easily the best line of the night for the Flyers. Patrick ended with a 61.76 CF% as the highest of the line, followed by Simmonds at 58.97 percent and Voracek at 58.33 percent. Ever since being put together, this line has been more of a 1a than just a second line. Despite the members of the line only getting points on the man-advantage, they controlled play for most of the night when on the ice.
In another oddity, the pairing of Andrew MacDonald and Robert Hagg were the second-best defensive pairing on the night. MacDonald posted a 60.53 CF%, and Hagg, a 54.05 percent. Hagg was especially more active in the offense, joining the rush and making some better zone entries. If he can continue to develop that part of his game while keeping the physicality and strong defensive zone awareness, he could turn into a very solid player.
This was a fairly one-sided affair in favor of Arizona up until the third period. The Flyers out-corsi’d the Coyotes 30-9 in the third. THIRTY TO NINE. The irony of that however is of course the Yotes scored the only 5-on-5 goal of the period, one that sent the game into overtime.
Much of this game was wide open, not much trapping and overall poor defensive zone play. Somehow, even tied 3-3 in the final period, I found myself thinking “man, this is one boring hockey game”. The amount of sloppiness and over passing made for one of the more annoying games of the season to watch.
I think I figured out who Rick Tocchet models his system after ...
While the Flyers did a decent job of getting their chances in front of the net, against a poor team like Arizona you’d like to see them go for that area a little bit more. With an average goalie, shaky defense, and a high forecheck team it would have been nice to see them attack the slot more.
1. Brian Elliott goes down
So this is obviously the most frightening moment from this game, Elliott goes down on a strange-looking play in the shootout and had to be relieved by Neuvirth. Elliott has been a rock all year, and losing him long-term could be devastating for this team fighting for a playoff spot. Hextall has already stated it’s a lower-body injury and that we’ll get an update after the team returns from Vegas. Feel better, Moose.
2. NOLAN FLIPPIN’ PATRICK
NOLAN. PATRICK.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 11, 2018
Moves like this show why Patrick was drafted #2 overall. pic.twitter.com/uSR6DW4fYT
(That is all.)
3. Robert Hagg steps it up
As I mentioned earlier, Hagg had a much better game than what we’re used to seeing from him. I’ve tried to back him throughout his struggles this year and hopefully he can put more of these games together. I know he’s never going to be an offensive dynamo, as that’s not really his game. However, if he could just add a bit more offense to his game it would fix a lot of the problems he faces getting the puck up the ice, making him a much better defenseman. He’s got a lot of the defensive zone work down; it’s the puck breakouts and zone exits/entries he needs to get better with.
4. Gudas benching?
So I see we weren’t the only ones a bit peeved with Radko after the game-tying goal? After Rinaldo scored, Gudas didn’t see the ice for the rest of the game, including OT. I can’t remember a time where Gudas has been benched before, so this was definitely an interesting development if it was in fact a benching. Regardless, if you lose the puck to Zac Rinaldo ... maybe having some time to re-evaluate things isn’t so bad.
5. No more Coyotes games this year, yay!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but these two games against Arizona this year stunk and I’m glad they’re in the West! I don’t think I could handle more unnecessarily stressful games against one of the worst teams in the NHL.
All stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick and Corsica.hockey