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Oskar Lindblom’s top five goals from 2019-20

He had 11 of those bad boys this season. Which ones made the cut?

Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Over the years the date of June 23rd has had significant meaning to Philadelphia Flyers’ fans. We’ll spend years talking about if the Orange and Black won the five trades they have made on that date over the last nine years, but there’s no disagreement on this year’s pleasant development as Oskar Lindblom returned to skating with his teammates on Wednesday. Considering the fact he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma a little over six months ago and the state of pretty much everything else right now, Lindblom’s practice session was a nice bit of positivity. In an attempt to keep the positivity going let’s take a look at the Swede’s best goals from a strong-yet-shortened season.

When it comes to Lindblom’s game there isn’t much he does wrong. He consistently causes problems on the forecheck, he creates and finishes in the offensive zone, he has a natural instinct to get to the crease, and he’s sound defensively. Whether you rely on analytics or the eye test Lindblom easily passes both routinely producing regardless of who or how he’s utilized.

That’s highlighted by the fact the forward compiled 17 goals and 16 helpers for 33 points in 81 games last year for the Flyers, which are totals that could have been higher if he wasn’t inexplicably in former head coach Dave Hakstol’s doghouse averaging just 13:45 of ice time a night. Since his lack of ice time and poor usage was more about the guy making decisions than his actual skill set, it felt as though Lindblom was poised to have a breakout campaign in 2019-20...which is exactly what happened.

New head coach Alain Vigneault wasted no time in moving Lindblom up into the top six and the results were immediate. On a line with Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny, Lindblom went off for five goals and two assists for seven points in the Flyers’ first eight games of the season as the team’s potent top unit. Lindblom and Couturier were also a force together this season at 5-on-5 with Jakub Voracek to help form two of the most dangerous trios the Orange and Black threw over the boards this year.

Flyers’ most used 5-on-5 lines in 2019-20

Line Time on ice Corsi for % Shots for % Expected Goals for % Goals for %
Line Time on ice Corsi for % Shots for % Expected Goals for % Goals for %
Giroux-Couturier-Voracek 254.48 57.18 56.1 (138-108) 58.12 56 (14-11)
Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny 177.48 58.39 55.38 (103-83) 55.02 47.37 (9-10)
Giroux-Couturier-Konecny 138.34 57.76 53.9 (83-71) 57.17 66.67 (8-4)
Farabee-Hayes-Laughton 128.57 53.52 53.57 (60-52) 51.43 66.67 (8-4)
Lindblom-Couturier-Voracek 110.19 52.85 58.33 (56-40) 56.67 85.71 (6-1)
Farabee-Hayes-Konecny 100.16 48.21 45.65 (42-50) 53.03 50 (3-3)

This play at 5-on-5 and a bump in time on the power play helped Lindblom produce 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points in 30 games this season before he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. At the rate he was producing Lindblom was on pace for 30 goals and 49 points if he had played the whole 82-game season, which is a big leap to make but he did also play 81 games last season (with the one game missed being Dave Hakstol scratching him). Unfortunately we’ll never know if Lindblom would have hit 30 goals this season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go back and enjoy a few of his from this year while hoping for more good news about him. With that said let’s take a look at his best goals from the 2019-20 season.

5. Goal off the rush with Michael Raffl against the Vegas Golden Knights

Although it may not be the most important goal he scored this season, Lindblom’s stat-padding goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in Philly back on October 21st, 2019 was at least a beautiful tally in transition. With the Flyers already up 4-0 thanks to a recent blast from Matt Niskanen on the power play, Travis Sanheim was able to chip the puck off the boards and out of the defensive zone past a pinching Nick Holden to set up a two-on-one for Lindblom and Michael Raffl against Jon Merrill with Jonathan Marchessault close behind. After he swept the puck up in front of him on the rush he passed it across the slot to Raffl at the top of the right circle, who glided it right back to Lindblom for the Oskar-on-Oscar Dansk goal.

The marker was Lindblom’s fourth goal in the Flyers’ seventh game of the season with his primary assist on Konecny’s opening goal serving as his second assist on the year. Philly won the game 6-2 to improve to 3-3-1 on the season.

4. Snipe against Thomas Greiss and the New York Islanders

Following his helper on Couturier’s opening goal in the first two minutes, Lindblom pushed the Flyers’ lead to 3-0 on November 16th, 2019 with this goal in the second period. Ivan Provorov does a great job of standing up in the neutral zone to get the puck to Joel Farabee to swing play the other way. Just inside the blue line Farabee moves it to Lindblom who proceeds to place one low far post. Greiss could have (should have?) had it, but it was still a pretty well-selected attempt put far post below the netminder’s glove and above his leg pad. Unfortunately for the Orange and the Black the Isles potted three in the third period before only needing two rounds of the shootout to complete the 4-3 comeback.

3. Starts and finishes a play to open scoring in Chicago

After he scored against the Chicago Blackhawks in Prague during the season opener, Lindblom opened the scoring in the clubs’ final meeting of the 2019-20 campaign just 20 days later in Illinois. With the Hawks in the Flyers’ zone, Lindblom was able to bat a puck away from Duncan Keith and into the neutral zone. The Swede and Konecny, as well as Calvin de Haan on the Blackhawks’ behalf, raced to the free disc with Konecny coming away with it. He then set up Lindblom on a cross-ice bid that the winger put through Robin Lehner for the game’s first lead 13:05 in. Philly went on to win the game 4-1 to sweep the season series.

2. Redirection at the side of the net in Toronto

With the visitors already up thanks to a goal from Phil Myers, Lindblom made the most of a power play the Flyers received late in the first period of their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 9th, 2019. As Ilya Mikheyev sat in the penalty box for interference, Lindblom worked his way from Frederik Andersen’s right post to being a few feet wide of his left post while the Orange and Black worked the puck around the umbrella on the power play. Once Konecny saw Lindblom at the side of the net the 2015 draft pick fired a pass from the top of the right. At an extremely sharp angle Lindblom is able to redirect Konecny’s feed past Andersen for his eighth marker of the season. Philadelphia went on to win this game 3-2 in a shootout to improve to 9-5-2.

1. Snipe against the Devils in New Jersey

Trying to rebound from their 7-1 defeat on the road to the Pittsburgh Penguins a few days earlier (where Lindblom had the only goal), the Orange and Black traveled to Newark to take on the New Jersey Devils on November 1st, 2019. Former Flyer Wayne Simmonds put the Devils up early, but Philly responded a few minutes later on the rush. Lindblom was able to knock the puck away from Blake Coleman in the neutral zone to start the play, which allowed Sanheim to corral the puck before bobbling it over to Konecny for a zone entry. A quick passing sequence of Konecny at the right point to Couturier in the slot to Lindblom at the bottom of the left circle resulted in the 2014 draft pick roofing a puck in limited space over MacKenzie Blackwood to tie the game halfway through the first period. Given when he received the pass, how much space he had to place the shot, and his ability to roof it past Blackwood just goes to show how lethal Lindblom can be in the offensive zone.

*Stats courtesy of Evolving-Hockey, Natural Stat Trick, Hockey-Reference, and NHL.com.