Even for the Flyers, losing to Lausanne HC of the National League, was a bit of a surprise. We know this team has a tendency to take lesser opponents lightly, but maybe not opponents from an entirely lesser league. Regardless, it’s another preseason loss but thankfully the final one, let’s talk about it.
How’d they look?
Sadly, there are essentially zero metrics for this game so we can’t actually take a deep dive into how the team performed analytically. So, we gotta do this the ol’ fashioned way, and actually watch the game and all that jazz. To put it nicely, the Flyers looked like they just got off the plane about an hour before playing this game. Nobody was skating, nobody was hitting, it was like watching a team stuck in quicksand. Lausanne had to have felt like they were playing NHL 20 on rookie mode and holding down left stick to hustle, it was that easy.
Carter Hart may have looked the worst out of the group allowing some ugly goals before being benched for Brian Elliott. Again, it’s preseason and how much stake should we actually put in this? Not a lot, obviously. Lausanne was clearly hyped as all get out to play this hockey game and the Flyers had zero interest until they were down 4-0. But man, it would have been nice to see Hart look at least, I don’t know, remotely good?
The one bit of analytics we did get from yesterday was actually from National League Ice Data who posted this tweet, showing the Flyers allowed all of the high danger chances:
Even-strength shot attempts for @lausannehc against @NHLFlyers. #NHLGlobalSeries pic.twitter.com/p8nXDYD4Fu— NL Ice Data (@NLIceData) September 30, 2019
1. Slow starts, it’s like the middle of December already
While I don’t think the slow start the Flyers have had this preseason and especially in this game will be indicative of their regular season start, it’s just so fitting for this team. They looked half-asleep in the first period, and it was only after it became 3-0 that the team actually appeared to remember a hockey game was going on. You know this whole driving a car expression Alain Vigneault has been using? Yeah, well, the boys were asleep at the wheel.
Obviously, the slow start was compounded by the fact Carter Hart was allowing routine shots to go right by him. Again, I don’t think this is cause for concern, but it was not a fun experience to watch him look like Swiss cheese out there ...
Oh you can’t be mad at that, gotta take the low-hanging fruit am I right?
2. The third period was a slaughter
In the third and final period it was clear the Flyers had come out of whatever it was that clogged their minds and bodies in the first two periods, and came out like gangbusters. They’d bring the game to just a one goal lead for Lausanne behind goals from Connor Bunnaman on a superb effort in front, and Sean Couturier banging home a tap-in goal from Carsen Twarynski.
Bunnaman cuts the lead to two! pic.twitter.com/NSuIcf1fbk— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 30, 2019
Couturier's first of the preseason brings the Flyers within one. pic.twitter.com/W4SL9wMjgH— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 30, 2019
I think it’s safe to say if the Flyers show up from the jump with the intensity they had in the third, the outcome would be much different.
3. Brian Elliott looked sharp in relief
When the Flyers just needed their goalie to make a couple saves, that’s what Elliott did. He made a few big saves that seemed to serve as a momentum boost for the Flyers and eventually got them to where they were in the third period. We hope of course that this doesn’t have to happen too often this season — or at all for that matter — but it was encouraging to see nonetheless. Elliot hasn’t looked good at all this preseason, so this change of pace was welcomed.
4. None of the bubble defensemen stood out
Neither Philippe Myers, Samuel Morin, or Robert Hagg really did all that much to make their case for the opening day roster. I thought Myers and Morin probably looked the best out of the three but that’s like picking which one of Dave Hakstol’s favorite players is the best. In a game where it was kind of important for these guys to show who belonged in the lineup, none of them really showed enough.
If Hagg starts for this team come Friday, I know that the reaction is going to be “oh how could AV pick him over Myers!!” But honestly I don’t know if I can bring myself to do that. Myers had every opportunity to win this job, and he made way too many mistakes to ensure himself a spot. The most frustrating part about that is not even his play, but it’s the fact Hagg hasn’t even looked that good and Myers still hasn’t done enough.
5. The Blackhawks lost to a Swiss team the same year they won the cup, so therefore ...
While I don’t think is the vast majority of Flyers fans by any means, I did see some yesterday who felt as if this loss was actually serious. The argument I’d make to that is simply what I have above: the Hawks lost to the ZSC Lions the same year they beat us in the Final. It’s a preseason game against a team that was clearly far more interested in playing the Flyers, than the Flyers were them.
The “That’s so Flyers” moment of the game
It was the entire first period, all of it, throw that tape in the trash and pretend it never happened. Lausanne was spotted a 4-0 handicap because we felt bad for them (I know the fourth was scored in the second but still). All in all, who cares about this game, the Flyers’ season starts Friday and I for one am HYPED. Hockey that matters is soon upon us ladies and gents.