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What happened over the last four games?

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Analyzing the play of the Philadelphia Flyers’ lines and pairs over the last four games.

NHL: OCT 29 Flyers at Penguins Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Even with the last two demoralizing losses to the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins, there’s good reason to believe that this Philadelphia Flyers’ team is still better than most of the recent squads in franchise history.

The play-driving numbers are there, Alain Vigneault’s system seems to be producing more offense and limiting chances against (before the last two games), and the penalty kill isn’t a give-a-goal-away campaign anymore. There have been some clunkers so far this season, but when this team has shown up this season they’ve looked pretty damn good. With that statement alone consistency will most likely be pointed to as an issue with this team and that’s fair, but that could also be something that gets ironed out a little later in the season once systems are in place with lines and pairs spending more and more time together (or it won’t and this could end up being yet another maddening season. THAT’S THE ‘FUN’ PART).

Before we get to the numbers, I wanted to clear some things up about the Line By Line going forward. I won’t be doing this table and number-filled posts with a podcast anymore. I’m going to keep providing the same information (and hopefully more with this new format) but I’m going to do a Line By Line post more frequently throughout the season (one or two games instead of three or four) so I can slam more tables into the post and provide more analysis for the numbers while separating the eye-test notes to singular posts that happen a little less frequently. I had all the work for this post done on Wednesday night and spent yesterday organizing what I wanted to say on the pod/put in the post before Steve and I recorded Flyperbole. At the end of the episode I lost power and my phone died, so I’m at a Starbucks right now finishing this post even though I could’ve actually had it up yesterday. I can’t control when I lose power, but trying to fit all the info into just an article/post isn’t cutting it as it is delaying getting what I want to get out and I’m still leaving a lot of things I want to talk about out of these articles. So look for a more stats-heavy Line By Line for the games against New Jersey and Toronto on Monday with a podcast/post from rewatching the games later in the week. Alright, NOW let’s get into the numbers.

Lines against Chicago

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 11:37 52.17 (12 for, 11 against) 50 (10 for, 10 against) 58.33 (7 for, 5 against) 50.81 Plus-1 (2 for, 1 against) Minus-1 (drew 0, took 1) N/A
Farabee-Hayes-Laughton 9:55 44.44 (8 for, 10 against) 50 (6 for, 6 against) 45.45 (5 for, 6 against) 52.18 Plus-1 (1 for, 0 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Plus-1 (forced 1, iced 0)
Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny 9:30 57.14 (8 for, 6 against) 50 (5 for, 5 against) 62.5 (5 for, 3 against) 60.68 N/A Minus-2 (drew 0, took 2) Even (forced 1, iced 1)
Raffl-Vorobyev-Stewart 4:40 25 (1 for, 3 against) 33.33 (1 for, 2 against) 33.33 (1 for, 2 against) 59.01 N/A Minus-1 (drew 0, took 1) Plus-1 (forced 2, iced 1)
  • James van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek spent most of their 5-on-5 time against Alex DeBrincat and Jonathan Toews. They opened the night by being on the ice for seven unanswered unblocked shots for concluding with Giroux’s goal 59 seconds into the second period.
  • After a Joel Farabee shot on goal with 9:32 left in the second period the only time the line of Farabee-Kevin Hayes-Scott Laughton successfully put a puck on net together at 5-on-5 was Hayes’ goal in the third period.
  • Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny spent most of their 5-on-5 time against the trio of Dominik Kubalik-David Kampf-Brandson Saad last Thursday. After Ryan Carpenter’s shot on goal 3:36 into the second period Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny produced four of the final five unblocked shots attempts they were on the ice for with all four being shots on goal while the lone unblocked shot attempt against was a Saad miss in the middle of the second period.

Pairs against Chicago

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
Provorov-Niskanen 15:37 41.38 (12 for, 17 against) 47.83 (11 for, 12 against) 52.54 (9 for, 8 against) 48.47 Plus-3 (3 for, 0 against) Minus-1 (drew 1, took 2) Minus-3 (forced 0, iced 3)
Gostisbehere-Hagg 13:13 40 (10 for, 15 against) 44.44 (8 for, 10 against) 54.55 (6 for, 5 against) 55.87 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Minus-2 (forced 0, iced 2)
Sanheim-Braun 12:03 61.54 (8 for, 5 against) 66.67 (4 for, 2 against) 66.67 (4 for, 2 against) 63.52 Plus-1 (1 for, 0 against) Minus-2 (drew 0, took 2) Plus-3 (forced 3, iced 0)
  • Six of the unblocked shot attempts that Shayne Gostisbehere and Robert Hagg were on the ice for at 5-on-5 came in the third period. All six came from Chicago, as they recorded three shots on goal and three misses.

Lines against Columbus

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 10:00 73.68 (14 for, 5 against) 66.67 (10 for, 5 against) 55.56 (5 for, 4 against) 57.46 Plus-2 (2 for, 0 against) N/A Plus-1 (forced 1, iced 0)
Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny 10:01 76 (19 for, 6 against) 70 (14 for, 6 against) 70.59 (12 for, 5 against) 35.32 Minus-3 (0 for, 3 against) Minus-3 (drew 0, took 3) Plus-3 (forced 3, iced 0)
Raffl-Hayes-Farabee 6:52 52.94 (9 for, 8 against) 53.85 (7 for, 6 against) 63.64 (7 for, 4 against) 48.24 N/A Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) N/A
Raffl-Vorobyev-Stewart 4:12 16.67 (1 for, 5 against) 20 (1 for, 4 against) 0 (0 for, 4 against) 9.84 N/A N/A N/A
Laughton-Hayes-Farabee 2:25 83.33 (5 for, 1 against) 66.67 (2 for, 1 against) 66.67 (2 for, 1 against) 81.69 N/A N/A N/A
  • Similar to the Chicago game, JVR-Giroux-Voracek started hot by being on the ice for six unblocked shot attempts from Philly before Oliver Bjorkstrand put a puck on net 6:43 into the second period.
  • Of the four shots on goal Michael Raffl-Hayes-Farabee saw together at 5-on-5 on Saturday only two (Sonny Milano’s shot with 9:55 left in the second and Gustav Nyquist’s shot on goal 1:30 into the third) came off the sticks of Blue Jackets’ forwards.
  • Raffl-Mikahil Vorobyev-Chris Stewart’s lone unblocked shot attempt together at 5-on-5 was a Stewart miss 2:42 into the middle stanza.

Pairs against Columbus

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 13:25 72.41 (21 for, 8 against) 76.19 (16 for, 5 against) 73.68 (14 for, 5 against) 81.21 Plus-1 (2 for, 1 against) Minus-2 (drew 1, took 3) Plus-1 (forced 2, iced 1)
Sanheim-Braun 12:49 85.71 (18 for, 3 against) 81.25 (13 for, 3 against) 88.89 (8 for, 1 against) 81.54 N/A N/A Minus-1 (forced 2, iced 3)
Gostisbehere-Hagg 10:09 35.29 (6 for, 11 against) 33.33 (4 for, 8 against) 40 (4 for, 6 against) 7.5 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) N/A
  • Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen were on the ice for eight unblocked shot attempts over the final 20:57 of regulation. Seven of those eight attempts (including JVR’s goal with 7:23 left) came from the Flyers.
  • The lone shot on goal that Travis Sanheim and Justin Braun were on the ice for at 5-on-5 on Saturday came from Seth Jones with 1:08 left in the second period.

Lines against Islanders

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 11:09 54.17 (13 for, 11 against) 52.63 (10 for, 9 against) 50 (8 for, 8 against) 49.88 Plus-1 (2 for, 1 against) Minus-1 (drew 0, took 1) Minus-1 (forced 1, iced 2)
Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny 9:03 58.82 (10 for, 7 against) 53.33 (8 for, 7 against) 33.33 (3 for, 6 against) 46.19 Minus-2 (0 for, 2 against) N/A Plus-2 (forced 2, iced 0)
Farabee-Hayes-Pitlick 8:10 71.43 (10 for, 4 against) 60 (6 for, 4 against) 71.43 (5 for, 2 against) 40.83 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) N/A Minus-1 (forced 0, iced 1)
Raffl-Vorobyev-Stewart 5:42 22.22 (2 for, 7 against) 0 (0 for, 5 against) 0 (0 for, 3 against) 0 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) Plus-2 (drew 2, took 0) Plus-1 (forced 1, iced 0)
Raffl-Hayes-Farabee 2:37 20 (2 for, 8 against) 28.57 (2 for, 5 against) 16.67 (1 for, 5 against) 53.07 N/A N/A N/A
  • JVR-Giroux-Voracek saw four unblocked shot attempts at 5-on-5 within the game’s first 3:17. Three of those four attempts came from the Islanders with the final one being Anders Lee’s goal while the Flyers’ lone attempt was Voracek’s goal.
  • Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny were responsible for all five of the missed shots they were on the ice for at 5-on-5. Lindblom had three while Couturier and Konecny each had one.
  • Raffl-Vorobyev-Stewart were on the ice for Ross Johnston’s goal in the first period to add to the whole No Unblocked Shots For thing.

Pairs against Islanders

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
Provorov-Niskanen 14:10 50 (14 for, 14 against) 47.62 (10 for, 11 against) 35.71 (5 for, 9 against) 42.73 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) Plus-2 (drew 2, took 0) Minus-3 (forced 0, iced 3)
Gostisbehere-Morin 12:13 42.86 (12 for, 16 against) 31.82 (7 for, 15 against) 31.25 (5 for, 11 against) 12.06 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) N/A Minus-2 (forced 1, iced 3)
Sanheim-Braun 11:28 62.5 (15 for, 9 against) 55.56 (10 for, 8 against) 53.33 (8 for, 7 against) 48.7 Even (3 for, 3 against) N/A N/A
  • After a Giroux shot on goal with 5:30 left in the second period, Gostisbehere and Sam Morin were on the ice for eight unblocked shots at 5-on-5. Seven came from the Islanders (with six hitting the net) while the Orange and Black’s lone attempt was a miss from Ghost with 9:31 left in regulation.
  • Sanheim-Braun’s game on Sunday was a tale of two halves. Ryan Pulock’s goal 4:13 into the middle frame was the tenth unblocked shot attempt the Philly pair saw with eight coming from New York (with Philly’s two attempts during this stretch being the goals from Voracek and Konecny). Following Pulock’s goal these two saw eight unblocked shots for the remainder of the game all of the sticks of Flyers.

Lines against Pittsburgh

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 9:24 52.38 (11 for, 10 against) 43.75 (7 for, 9 against) 36.36 (4 for, 7 against) 35.12 N/A Minus-1 (drew 0, took 1) Plus-1 (forced 2, iced 1)
Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny 4:39 66.67 (2 for, 1 against) 100 (2 for, 0 against) N/A 100 N/A N/A Plus-1 (forced 1, iced 0)
Raffl-Hayes-Farabee 4:19 42.86 (3 for, 4 against) 20 (1 for, 4 against) 25 (1 for, 3 against) 5.02 Minus-2 (0 for, 2 against) Minus-1 (drew 0, took 1) Minus-2 (forced 0, iced 2)
Pitlick-Vorobyev-Stewart 2:55 0 (0 for, 4 against) 0 (0 for, 4 against) 0 (0 for, 3 against) 0 Minus-2 (0 for, 2 against) N/A Minus-2 (forced 0, iced 2)
Lindblom-Giroux-Voracek 2:43 57.14 (4 for, 3 against) 57.14 (4 for, 3 against) 57.14 (4 for, 3 against) 72.27 N/A Minus-1 (drew 0, took 1) Minus-1 (forced 0, iced 1)
Farabee-Hayes-Konecny 4:28 62.5 (5 for, 3 against) 57.14 (4 for, 3 against) 66.67 (4 for, 2 against) 39.47 Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) N/A N/A
  • JVR-Giroux-Voracek were on the ice for six unblocked shot attempts just 5:01 into the tilt, as Pittsburgh had five of the attempts and the lone Philly attempt was a Giroux miss.
  • The bottom six that started the game on Tuesday of Raffl-Hayes-Farabee and Pitlick-Vorobyev-Stewart were on the ice for a total of nine unblocked shot attempts: four were shots on goal, seven came from the Pens, and the lone Flyers’ unblocked shot was a Hagg shot on goal with 2:31 left in the first period.

Pairs against Pittsburgh

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 12:25 37.5 (9 for, 15 against) 30 (6 for, 14 against) 23.53 (4 for, 13 against) 28.81 Minus-2 (0 for, 2 against) N/A Plus-1 (forced 3, iced 2)
Sanheim-Braun 11:33 40.91 (9 for, 13 against) 41.18 (7 for, 10 against) 41.18 (7 for, 10 against) 46.38 Minus-3 (0 for, 3 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Even (forced 2, iced 2)
Gostisbehere-Hagg 13:57 48.15 (13 for, 14 against) 40.91 (9 for, 13 against) 37.5 (6 for, 10 against) 28.17 Even (1 for, 1 against) Even (drew 1, took 1) Minus-1 (forced 0, iced 1)

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. CHI 25 (3 for, 9 against) 33.33 (3 for, 6 against) Plus-1 (1 for, 0 against) N/A Minus-2 (forced 1, iced 3)
Pairs vs. CHI 18.18 (2 for, 9 against) 20 (2 for, 8 against) N/A N/A Even (forced 1, iced 1)
Lines vs. CBJ 50 (4 for, 4 against) 42.86 (3 for, 4 against) Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) Plus-1 (drew 2, took 1) Minus-4 (forced 0, iced 4)
Pairs vs. CBJ 33.33 (5 for, 10 against) 23.08 (3 for, 10 against) Minus-2 (0 for, 2 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) N/A
Lines vs. NYI 46.15 (6 for, 7 against) 33.33 (3 for, 6 against) Plus-1 (1 for, 0 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) Even (forced 1, iced 1)
Pairs vs. NYI 62.5 (5 for, 3 against) 40 (2 for, 3 against) N/A Even (drew 1, took 1) Plus-2 (forced 2, iced 0)
Lines vs. PIT 34.62 (9 for, 17 against) 29.17 (7 for, 17 against) Minus-1 (1 for, 2 against) Plus-1 (drew 1, took 0) N/A
Pairs vs. PIT 55.56 (5 for, 4 against) 50 (3 for, 3 against) Minus-1 (0 for, 1 against) Minus-1 (drew 1, took 2) N/A

*Stats courtesy of NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick