The bar has been lowered. The Philadelphia Flyers can now lose a game with a late-game collapse and just appear to not even attempt to get any shots on goal, and it could be seen as an overall positive experience.
In this visit to the New York Islanders stupid UBS Arena, we had goals come from unlikely sources, a weird-ass goal from the captain, Justin Braun(???) score a goal, and some general competence. At this point, if you are invested enough to read a game recap of the Flyers’ 13th consecutive loss, with half of the roster missing, and still two months before the trade deadline, so we can’t even be nostalgic about players that are going to leave; then kudos to you.
Travis Sanheim was the only Flyer to have multiple points tonight, earning two assists, and the single-point performances went to Claude Giroux, Cam Atkinson, Scott Laughton, Braun!, James van Riemsdyk, Oskar Lindblom, and Gerry Mayhew — more on that later. Martin Jones saved 29 of 33 shots, which is not good. But hey, you’re the one reading this.
The Flyers, somehow, were able to open the scoring in this one. The last time this team was able to score the first goal of the game, was all the way back on Jan. 8 against the San Jose Sharks; meaning that they went seven consecutive games conceding the first tally, so we can at least be positive about something that is changing.
Anyway, Claude Giroux (of course) scored off of an extremely tight angle from the boards.
Weird goal, but we'll take it! G breaks the ice! pic.twitter.com/uxp9Ms8vV9— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 26, 2022
Possibly the least likely shot to end up as a goal that the Flyers have made this season, Giroux just simply whims it into the twine past Ilya Sorokin within the first 60 seconds.
And if opening the scoring wasn’t enough weird vibes for you, Justin Braun of all people doubled the Philadelphia lead in the opening frame.
Don't look now, but the Flyers are winning a hockey game. pic.twitter.com/5AUJ7loJYy— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 26, 2022
Tell me something, how is it possible the Flyers had a 2-0 lead at any time in this game? As if it is a distant memory now, it appeared that we were in for a treat of a game — a simple walkthrough and slight road bump for the Islanders, who are now on a surge up the standings since they are able to play hockey games once again. But instead, it’s just another one of these ones.
Anyways, as you are all well aware, the Islanders answered quickly via a goal from defenseman Noah Dobson and a cool-as-hell goalie screening from Mr. Iron Man himself, Keith Yandle.
And as if it was their destiny, the Islanders scored an equalizer a few minutes later.
The second you see Mat Barzal make his little shimmy over the blue line, coming into your zone with that unique style of speed, you know you’re going to concede one. This time, it’s off a cross-ice feed where Isles captain Anders Lee gets to pot his 11th goal of the season.
For the first 20 minutes, the Flyers felt very disjointed. No matter how much open space they had on the ice, it appeared that they couldn’t connect two or more passes on the same play without some opponent coming in their way or just a pass completely missing its target. That lack of connection prevented a whole lot of potential high-danger offense — the Flyers were able to get off 15 total shot attempts, but only two of them were considered a high-danger scoring chance, compared to the Islanders’ five.
And, that whole situation rolled into the second period.
Philadelphia were winning the shot attempt battle, but again, were just rifling pucks towards Sorokin from anywhere on the ice. On the halfboards and a couple of players are in front of you? Shoot it. At the point and cannot even see the red of the goalposts? Shoot that thing. Behind the net somehow and you’re looking deep into the eyes of a fan that is sitting in the front row? Shoot. That. Puck!
It all came crashing down when the Islanders were awarded a power play and Barzal was able to score one of those “goals.”
After the Barzal goal, the Islanders just kept on rolling. Nothing phased them and they knew that even though the Flyers aren’t particularly a good hockey team, they can still score at least some goals and prevent them from earning the two points.
The offense kept on rising and rising for the home team as the end of the second period was quickly approaching. It ended up not resulting in anything for them — thank goodness — but the Islanders finished the second period with a 32-11 advantage in shot attempts just in the middle 20 minutes.
And as only the Flyers could, in the third period, they gave us hope.
With one whiff of his stick, with a couple strides of his skates, and with his second goal in Flyers colors; Gerry Mayhew inspired us all to try a little bit harder. Shoot for the moon, if you miss, you will score a goal in the third period for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Yeah, our favorite hockey club lost yet another game, but that does not matter when we get a goal from Gerry Mayhew. It might just be his 10th game for this team, but there is simply nothing that I want to see more than him scoring more goals and having some semblance of success this season. If the Flyers are going to be bad, at least have some good and cool stories.
Because of all of this doesn’t even matter, since stupid Zach Parise decided to win the game for the Islanders; like a selfish idiot.
PUCK. MOVEMENT.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 26, 2022
#11 gives us the lead! pic.twitter.com/57r0SqvpYG
In the final 20 minutes of this game, while down by just a single goal for the last eight or so, the Flyers managed to only attempt 10 shots and have five(!) of them hit the net. I might not be the most intelligent hockey-knower, but I sure as hell know that if you’re down by one goal and the end of the game is closing in, the losing team is likely to be attempting to have more shots on net.
It might have just been a symptom of the way the Islanders were able to shut them down through this entire game. The home team managed to have 33 shots on goal compared to the Flyers’ 17, and most of those came pretty damn close to Martin Jones.
Honestly, at least it was entertaining in the sense that they made a fight out of a game that we all knew they were probably going to lose even before the first puck was dropped. The hills and valleys of a normal sporting event were evident.
Next, the Flyers attempt to get out of this 13-game losing streak when the Los Angeles Kings come to Philadelphia. They’re probably going to lose!!
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