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A loss, a win, and Joel Farabee

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Analyzing the play of the Philadelphia Flyers’ lines and pairs in Saturday’s loss and Monday’s win.

Philadelphia Flyers v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s been a week for the Philadelphia Flyers. After a pair of crushing, early-season soul-searching losses to the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars, the Orange and Black responded with some dominant wins over the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Blackhawks. The team went from having no bottom six a week ago to the fourth line contributing two goals on Monday and Joel Farabee being robbed of three points on the third line last night.

At the moment things look to be trending up for the #Floors. The loss to Dallas paired with the win over Vegas illustrate this club’s transition from painful to fun in the early season, so let’s take a look at how each forward line and defensive pair performed over the weekend.

Lines against Dallas

Line Time on ice Corsi for % Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Expected goals for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
Line Time on ice Corsi for % Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Expected goals for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
Giroux-Couturier-Konecny 13:03 75 (24 for, 8 against) 68.18 (15 for, 7 against) 80 (12 for, 3 against) 64.64 Plus-1 (1 for, 0 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Plus-2 (forced 4, iced 2)
Lindblom-Hayes-Voracek 9:22 50 (6 for, 6 against) 50 (5 for, 5 against) 66.67 (4 for, 2 against) 29.69 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) Minus-1 (drew 1, took 2) Minus-2 (forced 1, iced 3)
JVR-Laughton-Pitlick 7:36 44.44 (4 for, 5 against) 40 (2 for, 3 against) 66.67 (2 for, 1 against) 40.99 N/A Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Plus-2 (forced 2, iced 0)
Twarynski-Raffl-Stewart 3:12 50 (2 for, 2 against) 33.33 (1 for, 2 against) 50 (1 for, 1 against) 37.56 N/A N/A N/A
JVR-Laughton-Raffl 2:43 50 (2 for, 2 against) 50 (2 for, 2 against) 50 (2 for, 2 against) 88.07 N/A N/A N/A
  • Eleven of the 22 unblocked shot attempts the trio of Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny were on the ice for came off the sticks of Flyers in the third period. The only problem was seven of those eleven unblocked shot attempts were from d-men.
  • Just in case the table above didn’t illustrate how rough of a night the unit of Oskar Lindblom-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek had on Saturday the first two unblocked shot attempts they were on the ice for were Roope Hintz’s shot and rebound for the game-tying goal.
  • James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Tyler Pitlick had a rather uneventful night as the five unblocked shot attempts they saw were rather pointless. After a Taylor Fedun shot on goal late in the first period, this line only saw a pair of Stars’ misses and a shot on goal from both JVR and Pitlick in the third period (when Dallas was keeping the Flyers to the perimeter).

Couturier creates away from the puck

One of the goals I wanted to take a look at was Couturier’s opening goal against Dallas. A great no-look pass from Konecny gave Couturier a pretty easy finish, but the 2011 first-rounder did a little more than that to help the Flyers set up this goal.

As Konecny holds the puck in the defensive zone, Couturier (in the neutral zone) and Giroux (just inside the Flyers’ blue line) start to move up ice.

Couturier drives the middle of the ice to force both Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg back in the neutral zone to open up a Konecny pass to Giroux.

After a pass to Giroux, Couturier then curls out left in front of the captain to help push Klingberg back into the Stars’ zone.

This allows Giroux to enter the offensive zone and move it back to Konecny, who had gotten past Heiskanen. From there, Konecny gets Ben Bishop to drop and caught Klingberg with his stick out of the passing lane with a no-look cross-ice pass to Couturier for the dunk.

Pairs against Dallas

Pair Time on ice Corsi for % Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Expected goals for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
Pair Time on ice Corsi for % Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Expected goals for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
Provorov-Niskanen 12:00 46.15 (6 for, 7 against) 50 (5 for, 5 against) 57.14 (4 for, 3 against) 15.22 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) Plus-1 (drew 2, took 1) Even (forced 1, iced 1)
Gostisbehere-Hagg 11:16 84 (21 for, 4 against) 83.33 (15 for, 3 against) 84.62 (11 for, 2 against) 95.32 N/A Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Even (forced 3, iced 3)
Sanheim-Braun 11:03 52.38 (11 for, 10 against) 52.94 (9 for, 8 against) 66.67 (8 for, 4 against) 63.01 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) N/A Plus-1 (forced 3, iced 2)
  • On top of allowing three unblocked shot attempts in 58 seconds leading up to Hintz’s goal, the tandem of Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen went 42:01 of game time without being on the ice together for a Flyers’ unblocked shot attempt spanning from JVR’s attempt 5:42 into the game to another JVR attempt with 12:17 left in regulation.
  • Twelve of the 18 unblocked shot attempts that Shayne Gostisbehere and Robert Hagg were on the ice for at 5-on-5 came from Flyers in the third period.

Lines against Vegas

Line Time on ice Corsi for % Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Expected goals for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
Line Time on ice Corsi for % Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Expected goals for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
JVR-Giroux-Voracek 9:58 65.22 (15 for, 8 against) 65 (13 for, 7 against) 58.82 (10 for, 7 against) 36.67 N/A Even (drew 1, took 1) Plus-2 (forced 2, iced 0)
Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny 9:28 55.56 (10 for, 8 against) 53.85 (7 for, 6 against) 50 (4 for, 4 against) 74.52 N/A Even (drew 1, took 1) Minus-1 (forced 1, iced 2)
Farabee-Hayes-Laughton 9:16 57.14 (8 for, 6 against) 53.85 (7 for, 6 against) 66.67 (6 for, 3 against) 70.42 N/A Even (drew 1, took 1) Plus-2 (forced 2, iced 0)
Raffl-Vorobyev-Stewart 5:49 63.64 (7 for, 4 against) 62.5 (5 for, 3 against) 57.14 (4 for, 3 against) 73.43 Plus-2 (2 for, 0 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Minus-1 (forced 1, iced 2)
  • Fifteen of the 20 unblocked shot attempts JVR-Giroux-Voracek were on the ice for came from forwards, where these three outshot Vegas’ forwards sharing their ice time 9-6 (kinda nice?)
  • A breakdown of Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny’s unblocked shot totals by period: 2-2 in the first period, 1-3 in the second period, and 4-1 in the third period.
  • Farabee-Hayes-Laughton rattled off five straight unblocked shot attempts in an eight-minute span from late in the first period until Hayes’ shot on goal 5:26 into the middle frame.
  • Vorobyev had one of the eight unblocked shot attempts the line of Raffl-Vorobyev-Chris Stewart saw in the win, as he threw a shot on goal with 6:55 left in the first period.

Movement in the neutral zone and a lucky bounce

A lucky bounce caused the puck to land on Konecny’s stick leading up to his opening goal against the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, but it was a little play between him and Gostisbehere completed at the blue line that helped to give him so much space for the fortunate rebound.

The play starts with Ivan Provorov carrying the puck into the neutral zone and he moves the puck to Couturier back at the Flyers’ blue line.

Provorov’s drive through center ice opens up a Couturier pass to a streaking Gostisbehere through the neutral zone across the ice.

Gostisbehere quickly moves it to Konecny near the benches just outside Vegas’ blue line, which forces Paul Stastny to stand still for a second as he adjusted to the puck.

Ghost then moves past Stastny (who was turning to face Konecny with the puck) to drive Nick Holden and Jon Merrill back to create a lane for Konecny to go cross ice to Lindblom.

Gostisbehere then posts up at the bottom of the right circle and waits for a Lindblom pass back across the slot, but Lindblom’s attempt hits off of Merrill and goes right to Konecny in the right circle.

Thanks to his give-and-go with Gostisbehere in the neutral zone, Stastny was late on the scene to deny Konecny a chance and the Flyers take a lead.

Pairs against Vegas

Pair Time on ice Corsi for % Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Expected goals for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
Pair Time on ice Corsi for % Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Expected goals for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
Provorov-Niskanen 12:19 58.33 (14 for, 10 against) 55 (11 for, 9 against) 53.85 (7 for, 6 against) 65.56 Plus-1 (1 for, 0 against) Plus-1 (drew 2, took 1) Minus-2 (forced 1, iced 3)
Sanheim-Braun 12:03 56.52 (13 for, 10 against) 55.56 (10 for, 8 against) 46.15 (6 for, 7 against) 53.53 Plus-1 (1 for, 0 against) Even (drew 1, took 1) Plus-2 (forced 3, iced 1)
Gostisbehere-Hagg 7:31 44.44 (8 for, 10 against) 46.67 (7 for, 8 against) 46.67 (7 for, 8 against) 35.13 N/A Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Plus-1 (forced 2, iced 1)
  • Over a 15:31 span in the second period, Provorov-Niskanen were on the ice for eight unblocked shot attempts with seven coming from the Golden Knights. The Flyers’ lone attempt was Provorov’s goal.
  • Sanheim had five of the 16 unblocked shot attempts he and Braun were on the ice for at 5-on-5.
  • The last five unblocked shot attempts Gostisbehere-Hagg saw were five shots on goal from Vegas spanning from Paul Stastny’s shot 5:53 into the second period to Jake Bischoff’s shot with 11:17 left in regulation.

Play on the fly

Lines/Pairs Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
Lines/Pairs Unblocked shots for % Shots for % Goal differential Penalty differential Icing differential
Lines vs. Dallas 57.89 (11 for, 8 against) 61.54 (8 for, 5 against) Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) N/A Minus-1 (forced 0, iced 1)
Pairs vs. Dallas 43.75 (7 for, 9 against) 54.55 (6 for, 5 against) Plus-1 (1 for, 0 against) Even (drew 1, took 1) Plus-2 (forced 2, iced 0)
Lines vs. Vegas 46.15 (6 for, 7 against) 30 (3 for, 7 against) Plus-2 (2 for, 0 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Minus-1 (forced 0, iced 1)
Pairs vs. Vegas 68.75 (11 for, 5 against) 70 (7 for, 3 against) Plus-2 (2 for, 0 against) Even (drew 1, took 1) N/A

*Stats courtesy of NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick. Images courtesy of NBC Sports Philly.