1. Carsen Twarynski
Although Twarynski is most likely a lock for the Phantoms this year, with little shot to make the Flyers, he was buzzing in this one. If the coaching staff and front office are going to be hellbent on having a “physical, gritty presence” in the bottom six, Twarynski fits that description and might actually be half-decent at hockey too. We all know Chris Stewart can be physical, but he’s clearly not a NHL player anymore.
2. Joel Farabee
Speaking of The Kids attempting to earn one of those final roster spots, Farabee was excellent tonight as well. Much like Twarysnki, he was doing the little things that we love about players such as Sean Couturier, and Oskar Lindblom. There was a touch pass at center ice where Farabee shielded the puck with his back, and at the same time made a sweet touch pass to JVR darting behind him for a controlled zone entry. He easily could have had two, and at least one, goal tonight but was denied by a glove and the post.
3. Kevin Hayes
The big free agent acquisition was a standout in this one. While his metrics may not have been stellar, Hayes was clearly a force tonight. He almost scored on a shorthanded breakaway, which would have been his second of the night after a nice deflection off a shot from Jakub Voracek. Speaking of, Hayes and Voracek are going to be a problem this season. When those two get the cycle going they are so hard to stop and it is extremely fun to watch. Regardless of who ends up with them (James van Riemsdyk or Lindblom), those two are going to be a lethal combination.
Answering the bell
In the preview for tonight’s game, we asked if anyone of Robert Hagg, Mark Friedman, or Samuel Morin would step up to take the last spot on the blueline, and who would step up between Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost? Let’s answer those questions here.
1. Does anyone step up in the race to fill out the rest of the defense?
While not playing a bad game, Robert Hagg I don’t believe played a good enough game compared to Friedman and Morin. Those two were pretty impressive tonight with Friedman’s puck moving abilities, and Morin’s defensive zone coverage and physicality. The former had a stellar stretch pass to Farabee who was unable to bury the breakaway, but it was a beauty pass that required quick decision making and accuracy. It had both of them.
Morin was strong but his puck handling, as has always been the story with Morin was a persisting issue. But if you know anything about Morin is that he can lay the body, and he came as advertised with this massive blow.
2. Frost vs. Farabee
Both of these two exciting rookies had great games honestly, but I’d give the slight edge to Farabee. There were times where Frost tried to rely on his puck skills just a bit too much and it would result in a turnover. While we want that creativeness to remain a big part of his game, he’s not always going to get away with it at the NHL level.
Farabee was consistently making the smart read, playing well away from the puck, and getting himself in position to score or be a part of a scoring play. Neither did anything to severely hurt their chances, but I think Farabee did more in this game to help his cause.
Play of the game
Was there any doubt it would be Twarysnki’s goal? This was flat out dirty from start to finish. The strip, the shot, the bat down. Everything about this play was fantastic and again, despite the chances being slim, this is the kind of play that could win a roster spot.