1. Travis Konecny
The lone Flyers all-star representative was on fire tonight. If there was extended offensive zone time, Konecny would be right in the middle of it. He scored the first two goals of the game and in impressive fashion, showing just how good his shot has become since he entered the league. He now has 17 on the season, putting him just seven away from tying his career high of 24.
His breakout season has been arguably the funnest aspect of this Flyers team, and it’s amazing how far he’s come from being in former head coach Dave Hakstol’s dog house for so long.
2. Brian Elliott
Moose was stellar in this game, looking like the goalie we saw in the opening two months of the season. His rebound control was excellent, he made the big saves when needed, and made the easy ones all night long. Elliott needed this kind of game, and he showed up in a big way for the Flyers tonight. He continued his career dominance over the Kings, and hopes to keep this strong play going.
3. James van Riemsdyk
This was a great overall game from JVR, but it’s his power play goal that really put this one away that gets him the third star for me. He was generating solid chances all night, but was finally rewarded with a deflection goal to make it 4-1. It ended an 11-game goalless drought, and now hopefully will get him streaking in the right direction.
Two loose thoughts
1. Quality, not quantity
The Flyers may not have had their best game in regards to possession, but the quality of the shot attempts they took was good enough. Sure, they did force things a bit too much at times, but you can do that when you have a lead. That’s exactly what the Flyers had for the majority of this game, and they went all-in on the quality over quantity method for generating offense.
2. Defensive effort
The Flyers’ defense played a great game tonight. The Kings had a really tough time getting quality shot attempts, and while part of that is just the style they play, the Flyers didn’t allow them a ton of good looks. They got in passing lanes, stood them up at the blue line, and covered the high percentage areas well.
Play of the game
It was going to be one of the Konecny goals, but I think it has to go to JVR and his (hopefully) slump snapping goal. Getting him going would be huge for this team as they head into the second half.