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What we learned from the Flyers’ season finale

Some observations for your morning...

New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

That’s a wrap! The Flyers’ 2020-21 season has finally come to an end! It’s been in so many ways a weird and disappointing and extremely cursed year, but at least they went out doing what’s surely one of all of our favorite things: beating the Devils handily.

All stats via Natural Stat Trick.

One last slow start

What’s a Flyers game without a slow start and immediately falling into a one to two goal hole, right? That’s the formula for the season, and the Flyers stuck with it until the bitter end.

In truth, it really wasn’t the worst start we’ve seen from the Flyers so far this season. They were outshot by the Devils 11-9 in the first period, and did look a little flat, but their effort and execution wasn’t positively abysmal (excellent bar to be holding, huh?). It was, of course, just flat enough to ensure that they were down 2-0 before we even hit the halfway point of the first period.

And we know what happened from there—the Flyers cleaned up and were able to rally for the win while the Devils struggled to contain them We have said that they’ve looked better this season when playing from behind, and last night was no different. One last emotional roller coaster for the road.

Farabee hits 20 goals

And the big news of the night! Joel Farabee picked up two goals last night, and that pushed him to 20 goals on the season, which is a remarkable feat in and of itself, but feels even more remarkable for the fact that we’re working with an abbreviated season, and well, considering the mess that this season was and how their offense often struggled.

It hasn’t been a perfect season for Farabee, and he’s had his own cold streaks that he’s had to work through, but he really has been a revelation for the team this season, and one of their best players, without question. We can dip into questions later of where he goes from here and if he can build on his play next season. They’re important, but they’re for another day. We’re just going to bask in the 20 goal season a little bit longer.

The power play shows some life

A few stats before we get to the thing we really want to talk about: the Flyers had just over seven minutes to work with on the power play last night, and while it was decidedly not a perfect showing, they did still get a bit of something going. They picked up 13 shot attempts, seven scoring chances, and three high danger chances, and were able to bring a flash of strong passing, and for that they were rewarded with a goal from James van Riemsdyk.

But the piece that really stood out to us was the improvement we saw when, later in the game, it was Shayne Gostisbehere and Cam York running the power play units. And York in particular stood out, he used that great skating of his and was able to make some nice keeps at the line, then showing some crisp passing to keep the Flyer’s possession alive. The Flyers weren't able to do anything with that extended possession time (we saw the forwards failing to make and receive passes), but it was a really refreshing site to see. To be frank, these were keeps that we would not have seen made if the Flyers had kept Ivan Provorov on that unit. And a lot can change in terms of plans by the time we hit next season, but the fact remains that this was a really positive flash that we saw from York, and he absolutely should be in the mix for not just a spot on the team to start the season, but also a chance to hold on to that power play spot.

A nod to Brian Elliott

All in all, it wasn’t a terribly busy night for Elliott, but it was a solid showing for him, all the same. He only faced 25 shots on the night, and stopped 23 of them. And the two early goals were tough to see, but we should give Elliott credit for really locking things down after that, to keep things from spiraling and giving the skaters a chance to pull the team back into this one.

But outside of that, there was also the fact that the Flyers paid tribute to Elliott for hitting 500 career NHL games last week with a silver stick ceremony, and it really was quite a touching moment. They did the whole things—his wife and kids came out on the ice, they had a nice tribute video where some of his teammates, both from the Flyers and from former teams, and coaches said some nice things about him, and awarded the presents (a watch and a silver goalie stick) and took their pictures. Elliott’s been, overall, really solid for this team, done all that was asked of him, and it felt really nice to pay this tribute in closing out the season.

This, in all likelihood, is the last we see of Elliott in Philadelphia—he intends to play next season, and is interested in staying in Philadelphia if the Flyers will have him, but the sense is that it seems to be time to move on. All the same, it was a nice night for Elliott, and the win was just icing on the cake.

We made it!

Wed did it, gang! We made it through the horrible cursed season. This season wasn’t easy, and it really was not always fun, but we all made it to the other side, and we just want to take a moment to thank you all for hanging out with us. We’ll be sticking around, of course, providing lots of offseason content until next season swings around, but it feels nice to finally put a bow on this weird season. Enjoy your summer, folks! And be nice to each other out there.