Joel Farabee was the lone goal in the skills competition, tucking a sneaky shot just under the cross bar behind Jaroslav Halak. It was the the only goal the Flyers would need as Hart denied all three Bruins shooters to give the Flyers four points from their weekend road trip through two of the NHL’s elite contenders.
More on that here as we look at five big things from last nights proceedings from Beantown.
Carter Hart steals one
For whatever reason the Bruins were sleepy to begin this one, and surely looked like the team that played the previous night as they slogged their way to 10 shots on goal through two periods. They weren’t all dangerous, but Hart mixed in some real dandies in there to keep the Bruins scoreless through 40 minutes.
Problem was that the Bruins were gaining steam and the Flyers were starting to sag, becoming noticeable in the later stages of the second when the tide started to turn. Things intensified in the third, where the Bruins registered 17 shots on net. With the ice tilted and the Flyers starting to fade, Hart did everything he could to get his mates to overtime and earn a point.
He did allow goals in the third, but neither he had much of a chance on, anyways. What was impressive was the show he put on after the Bruins got the equalizer from Brad Marchand. Hart was under siege in the final minutes and in 3-on-3 overtime, but turned away the Bruins at every corner.
Then in the shootout he looked like a brick wall in stoning Charlie Coyle, Marchand, and David Pastrnak with relative ease.
HART DENIES PASTRNAK AND CELLIES, THE FLYERS WIN pic.twitter.com/Ueg2qm3noZ— Brandon Murphy (@2Murphy8) November 11, 2019
The Flyers had no business getting two points from that game, but alas: Carter Hart.
Philippe Myers is just ridiculous
His tally with just over two minutes left in the first period gave him goals in three-straight, and perhaps the most impressive of the three by far.
It started with great work from the Couturier line (huge surprise), and the pass from TK was wonderful but most of this was Myers. He picks his spot to slide down and make himself available for the pass, accepts it, then has his head up the whole way to analyze the defender and Halak. With supreme confidence, he calmly picks his spot and rips it past the veteran netminder to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Great puck movement by Couturier & Konecny to start the play. TK with the awesome feed and Myers just rips it home, wow. pic.twitter.com/Rb1DLmJVXy— Brandon Murphy (@2Murphy8) November 11, 2019
The patience, the skill, the hair. Myers is starting to really blossom after he early season trip to the AHL and the Flyers are benefitting from having his unique talent and skillset in the lineup every night.
Not only are the goals nice, but they’re coming as he props them up with stellar play in his own zone. That’s the key to staying in the lineup as a young defender, but Myers shouldn’t see a press box for a very, very long time. He’s just too good, and he’s only scratching the surface on the potential of what he could be. Scary.
The 23-14-11 machine keeps rolling
Another night and another ho-hum five points from the Flyers’ dynamic trio of Oskar Lindblom, Sean Couturier, and Travis Konecny.
Not only did they produce in the box score yet again, but dominated the puck while they were out there to the tune of Corsi-For percentages well above 60%. When that line has the puck, and they normally do, they’re very hard to defend with the work they can all do around the boards. Against a good board team like the Bruins, it’s impressive to see the trio just flat-out dominate once again.
These three have turned into one of the most dangerous lines in hockey, and have shown the ability to carry the Flyers throughout games on their own for the most part. And heck they’re doing this without Couturier —one of the NHL’s best in the dots— taking face-offs for the most part.
Is the penalty kill...actually good?
Look we all have the right to be skeptical when it comes to the Flyers penalty killing given that they haven’t had a top-10 unit since the 90’s, it feels like. But this iteration might actually be good!
Boston carried the NHL’s top power play unit into play, but ran into interference from the Flyers’ rapidly improving penalty kill. Now much of the success that goes along with holding the Bruins scoreless on two chances came from the four saves that Hart made during those opportunities.
Here are Hart's 2 saves on the PK, woof. pic.twitter.com/aUiMbNOUMU— Brandon Murphy (@2Murphy8) November 11, 2019
But even buoyed by Hart’s heroics, the Flyers still did a nice job limiting the shooting and passing lanes for the Bruins’ power play on their chances. Like the Flyers, Boston loves to send seam passes and the Flyers kept those lanes to Pastrnak and Marchand mostly zipped up. That’s good advanced scouting from the coaching staff (and Mike Yeo), but also excellent execution from the players on the ice.
Mix and match bottom six is, uh, still terrifying
While it isn’t a shock to see the Flyers’ top line of 23-14-11 driving play and creating chances, it’s also equally not a shock to see the revolving doors around the fourth line producing less than stellar results. With all the Flyers’ injuries, too, it’s started to take a toll on the third line as well with Michael Raffl only able to carry things so much on his lonesome.
Tyler Pitlick and Carsen Twarynski had rough nights while newcomer Andy Andreoff had another night of meh after being called up prior to the Toronto game. The Flyers badly miss Scott Laughton’s energy and all-around game while the absence of Nolan Patrick is starting to be felt down the middle with Couturier banged up.
With the top line buzzing so well and production coming from the other two lines in some fashion most nights, it’d be fun to see what the Flyers would look like with an entire forward group healthy. They’re a good team now without much of a fourth line to throw out there with much confidence, just imagine an NHL-caliber line with Laughton and the Flyers look like certified playoff team.
The Flyers look to make it five-straight when they host the Metro-leading Capitals on Wednesday night for a 7:30pm puck drop, getting some much needed rest after a successful weekend road trip through the gauntlet of Atlantic powers.