1. The entire Giroux line
Is this cheating? Yes. Well guess what, baby, call me the Houston Astros cause WE ARE DOING THIS. While Claude Giroux at center may not be the absolute best for the team when everyone is healthy, it’s hard to argue with how his line is going right now. The trio of himself, Travis Konecny, and James van Riemsdyk has been on fire of late and that continued tonight. With both Konecny and JVR scoring in this one, and coming off of great performances in the Kings game, I think we’ll be seeing these guys together for a good while.
2. Brian Elliott
Elliott was incredible tonight for the orange and black. There were times where he wouldn’t be tested for quite some time, but then face a tough shot and make the save. Moose has really turned it on of late, and it’s at the perfect time with Carter Hart still out. While he should be back shortly after the All-Star break, having Elliott do more than enough to win games with Hart out has been huge for this team in a pivotal stretch.
3. Kevin Hayes
Hayes was great in this game. He didn’t show up on the statsheet, but it was the little things that made him such a weapon in this game. His penalty killing was spectacular, and he was as great as ever at protecting the puck in the offensive zone. The point totals aren’t there for him this year, but did we ever really expect them to be that high? He’s going to be around 45 points, while playing great defense and being the team’s second most reliable penalty killer to Sean Couturier.
Two loose thoughts
1. Penalty kill was beautiful
Unlike the power play — which we’ll get to in a second — the penalty kill was absolutely dominant for the Flyers tonight. Kevin Hayes especially was superb, putting together a Mike Richards-esque shift at the end of the first period.
2. The power play on the other hand...
Garbage, total garbage. At some point the power play is going to have to start scoring at a better rate, and it would be nice if that was sooner rather than later. We’ll see if it looks any different after the break, but at this point I think it has to. Basically, just put Giroux on the left for good, it’s not that hard Michel.
Play of the game
Has to be the opening goal. This was such a beautiful passing play and although Jakub Voracek almost messed it up by not going five-hole, it was still a sweet finish to put the Flyers on top. Giving them the only goal they needed in a huge win.