Alright, before we dig in, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Someone at SB Nation really made a mistake allowing me to be in charge of all hockey sites across the network without having ever done a game recap. Yes, that’s right, this is my first game recap. And it’s going to be a wild ride.
A 5:30 start for the first of eight Battles of Pennsylvania this season — LET’S GO! Today, the day of Ivan Provorov’s birth (and some other bro who plays for Edmonton) is going to be a good one! Just before the game, we learned that Shayne Gostisbehere has been held out of the game due to the new COVID-19 protocol. So that’s cool. Great. Nothing to see here. No need to panic.
First impressions of Scott Hartnell from Flyers Pre Game Live — I’m into this, I’m glad he stuck around the area. He has some nerves to work out and it’s still so awkward that they’re sitting across the studio from each other, but hey, gotta stay safe. As for Taryn, the navy dress and nude pump combo is a personal fave, she remains a star and I’m so glad she survived all the NBC contract nonsense.
We haven’t even gotten to the game yet and this is the best tweet I have seen tonight.
don’t mind me I am just preparing for this evening pic.twitter.com/db7nQ0v1w3— average hockey enjoyer (@cursed_hockey) January 13, 2021
Apparently I had to change the channel to actually watch the game. That’s annoying. You know what else is annoying? Oskar Lindblom makes his season debut to an empty arena. I tried to think of ways that we could all be there in our cars postgame to honk for him but it just didn’t make sense logistically. So we’ll have to do something extra special the next time we can.
The first period
Why is the ref talking to me? Just drop the puck, this is weird. LOL I forgot Tristan Jarry. We hate that guy. The Flyers do not look like this is the first game of their season, I don’t want to speak too soon so I’m going to keep this thought to myself (and to all of you).
Oh. The Penguins scored. That’s crap. Some guy named Jankowski. Pierre called Voracek something strange and it doesn’t make not scoring first goal of the season any better. Mark Jankowski with an assist from Ivan Provorov and Jake Voracek. Not actually but it was that. And now a penalty on Scott Laughton for some nonsense like breathing on Sidney Crosby.
Ah yes, the beautiful game.
The penalty kill is 1/1 this season, I can’t see them slowing down, may as well just stay at 100% all season.
I hate national games. Give me back JJ.
I forgot again that Joel Farabee is 86, that’s going to take a few games to get used to. I do not like the Robert Hagg-Erik Gustafsson pairing.
Do you ever hear names of Penguins skaters and just cringe? That just happened to me with Evgeni Malkin. Just go away, sir. I genuinely dislike this team. Which one? Who can say.
It would make me really happy right now if the Flyers could put some pressure on Jarry because he is not good, but they just can’t get the puck through.
Voracek and Gustafsson nearly connected for a goal, Jarry completely lost the puck under his butt, but found it before another Flyers did. Then Caca Peepee — sorry, sorry, Codi Ceci — took a penalty so let’s see this power play. And just like we all drew it up ERIK GUSTAFSSON SCORES THE FIRST FLYERS GOAL OF THE SEASON. Wow, penalty kill and power play are each 1/1 this season. Let’s keep it that way.
Oh just kidding, it was a James Van Hockey goal. GOAL SCORING MACHINE JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK. Assists from Gus and Farabee.
Please for the love of god, keep the puck in the offensive zone. Please. I’m asking nicely. Maybe next period. Hold on, which pisspot just drew a penalty from the Penguins bench? Oh baby, oh baby was it Travis Konecny? Yes it was for crosschecking, but our favorite trash talker is in midseason form AND OUR POWER PLAY IS 2/2 NOLAN PATRICK IS BACK BABY!!!! This goal happened eight seconds into the penalty, amazing. You know, as much as I wanted Patrick’s first goal this season to be a beauty, I’ll take a tip in. Releases some of the pressure for him to score in the first game no matter how it happens.
Let’s never let Gus Bus leave the ice, it seems like the only strategy.
Let's check in on those off-season additions on defense after one period of hockey.— Brad Keffer (@brad_keffer) January 13, 2021
Ceci, Matheson: 2 penalties
Gustafsson: 2 points
Through 20 minutes the Flyers trail in overall shots 13-10 and 5-on-5 shots 10-8.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 13, 2021
At 5-on-5 the Flyers have a 43.33 Corsi-for percentage (13 shot attempts for, 17 against) and 40.92 Expected Goals-for percentage. pic.twitter.com/YddPuN4fmj
The second period
We’re back and I’m annoyed that neither of the goals the Flyers scored were easy to distinguish who scored them. I’m also annoyed that Mike “not Mike Johnston” Sullivan can’t be bothered to wear his mask over his nose. Voracek takes a penalty for interference and it’s time for our unbeaten penalty kill to go to work.
Oh WOOF. Carter Hart, please don’t ever play the puck. Ever. But especially with Crosby three feet away. The penalty kill is no longer undefeated and I personally think Hart needs a timeout. Let me find video of this mess, you need to see it.
Carter Hart with big-time sauce on the primary assists to Sidney Crosby pic.twitter.com/rJNVByUnsB— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 13, 2021
Just. ugh. I need a minute after that, I am upset.
Ok, we’re regrouping and moving on. Nolan Patrick is clearly still upset because he takes a slashing penalty and we all hope that no one does some dumb shit this time. On second look, lol, that was not a slash. But whatever, here we are. Two out of three penalties killed and we’re back to full strength. I’m supposed to be keeping my eye on the two questions from today’s preview but I forget what they are so stay tuned for those at the end.
The good news is that the Flyers are spending more time in the offensive zone this period.
Ugh, Ron Hextall reference. I know, I KNOW, we all owe a lot to the man, but I personally would like to move on. Probably just because it’s Pierre though. I think it is time for another Flyers goal, let’s make that happen boys. I hate this period, I know I said I was moving on from the Hart flub but I have not. Let’s check in on the Broad Street Hockey Slack room:
Yup. That’s how this period is going. We play these assholes again this week don’t we? This is going to be a stressful season. TRISTAN JARRY IS NOT GOOD, PEPPER HIM WITH SHOTS.
“Sucking dirty pond water” is a quote from Pierre right now about how Couturier and Konecny were gassed. I don’t think I’ve heard that before.
GOAL FARABEE!!!!!!!!!! YES THIS IS IT, THIS IS WHAT WE NEEDED! A THREE POINT GAME FOR YOUNG BEEZER! Our newly thicc boy is having himself A Game. This is what I’m sayin about Jarry, just get those pucks on him. As the period ends, Oskar Lindblom is in some pain after blocking a shot with his knee (?), we’ll get an update on him before the end of the game.
How many nicknames can we come up with Joel Farabee? Goal Farabee. The Farabeast. The Bees. Furbeez. JoEl Farabiid. Please don’t call him Philly Joel. It hurts me, personally.
Through 40 minutes the Flyers trail 23-16 in overall shots and 19-13 in 5-on-5 shots.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 14, 2021
At 5-on-5 the Flyers have a 44.07 Corsi-for percentage (26 shot attempts for, 33 against) and a 44.39 Expected Goals-for percentage. pic.twitter.com/LFJ9oxQjH3
legendary flyers coach fred shero with the definitive "cocky or distraught" in 1976 pic.twitter.com/kGuXgf4803— aunt dad (@antigonized) January 13, 2021
The third period
Phew, Lindblom is fine and back on the ice for the start of the third. Too Much Man for the Penguins and the Flyers go on the power play after 39 seconds. You know what that means, it’s Gus Bus time. Let the man work, damn. Unfortunately, the Penguins kill this penalty and then come back to tie the game. Branden Tanev makes it a 3-3 game, I would have really liked if the Flyers scored on that power play. But, alas.
Oh yes, right on time, the Sidney Crosby montage. It isn’t a national game without one!
Who are these guys playing for Pittsburgh? Not Dan Marino, Someone Mathison, WHO CARES MICHAEL RAFFL JUST SCORED! I have absolutely no idea what happened and it looks like the Flyers on the ice don’t either. Let’s find a replay because it was stunningly Flyera.
Raffl finishes off a great all-around play by Laughton to give the Flyers a 4-3 lead! pic.twitter.com/wR79Ll1YQV— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) January 14, 2021
Filthy. Greasy. Perfect. Raffl got the goal but Scott Laughton did all the work there. I love them together. Nicolas Aube-Kubel is the perfect compliment for the pair of Raffl and Laughton, what a game for those three.
I decided to pay attention to my only assignment in answering the two questions and Travis Konecny scored his first of the season! An excellent play from Sean Couturier AND I CAN’T EVEN FINISH TELLING YOU ABOUT IT BECAUSE KEVIN HAYES JUST SCORED TO MAKE IT 6-3.
The floodgates have opened folks!!! This is what we were waiting for, as I have been telling you from the beginning, get the puck on Jarry BECAUSE HE IS NOT GOOD. Here just watch these because I’m still screaming.
First, it was Travis Konecny! pic.twitter.com/pw0E2wRr5O— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 14, 2021
Then Hayes gave the Flyers a three goal lead! pic.twitter.com/TPCajO1Tzj— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 14, 2021
The Farabeast has four (4) points and is the NHL’s leading points scorer. What a time to be alive. A slightly nerve wracking moment where Travis Sanheim checks to make sure Carter Hart is still awake and we’re in the final minute of regulation. Phil Myers holds onto the puck to end the game and the Flyers win the season opener 6-3!
Two big answers
1. How long to shake off the rust?
You know, they looked pretty good almost immediately. The second period was not great, but I don’t think that was due to rust, I think it was just playing the Penguins. The ice seemed to be a little sloppy, but the Flyers weren’t. Maybe it’s just adrenaline from the first game of the season, but I’m not worried about the amount of time this team has been away from the ice and the short training camp.
2. How will Nolan Patrick look?
Dude had a power play goal and looked strong throughout the game. I’m still not completely sold on the JVR-Patrick-Voracek line but Patrick has come back and looked like he is ready to take the next natural step in his career — not just come back to form from the last season he was able to play.
My three stars
1. Joel Farabee
We endured so much to get to this point. The rest of the team deserves the stars, sure, but not more than we do.