In the first game of the post-Wayne Simmonds era, the Philadelphia Flyers definitely weren’t lacking any grit or, dare I say, Hart(man), defeating the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.
Newly acquired Ryan Hartman set the tone with a huge hit on rookie sensation Rasmus Dahlin in the game’s first five minutes, endearing himself to the Philly faithful almost immediately upon arrival. Hartman was one of the most noticeable players on the ice, logging four hits, four shots on goal, a couple of blocks and playing an overall strong two-way game during 14:12 of ice time in his orange and black debut.
Oskar Lindblom had yet another strong performance, opening the scoring just 2:48 into the contest, netting his 12th goal of the year and fourth in his last five games. The second-year Swede earned first star of the game honors for his efforts in all three zones.
Finally, the nearly-written-off Brian Elliott made 34 saves en route to the victory. While injuries have hampered Elliott’s season and tenure with the Flyers, I think it’s important to note that he’s 8-7-0 with a .919 save-percentage and 2.51 goals against average this year. I am by no means advocating for BAMFBE’s return, but the dude has certainly battled through a lot for this team in his time here and I don’t think he quite gets enough recognition for it.
The postgame was both a Ryan Hartman love-fest, as well as a look ahead to the future, mostly because it’s nauseating thinking of what this team could have been if they hadn’t wasted the first three months of the season. But it’s definitely worth a listen. And I’m the host, so what possible reason could I have for lying to you? Only one way to find out for sure.