We are unfortunately at — or, in all honesty, probably well past — the point of the season at which we have much creative to say about a loss that plays out the exact way you probably could have expected it to coming in. But we’ll try. The Flyers lost to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 defeat that was close and hard-fought but also never felt like it should have been that close. Carolina’s Jordan Martinook scored the game-winner on a deflection from the high slot with about four minutes remaining in regulation. For the Flyers, Martin Jones had a pretty good showing, stopping 33 of 35 shots.
If, for whatever reason, you’re into that, relive it with me as it happened below.
- We’re led into this national broadcast on ABC with some guy from the Weather Channel talking about how hurricanes are formed. You see, the team on the ice today is called the Hurricanes, which is also a type of storm system. A lot of people don’t know that.
- Shortly thereafter, John Buccigross does an interview with ‘Canes star Sebastian Aho asking him what his favorite type of fish is. It’s occurring while he is mic’d up and out on the ice for warm-ups, so you can’t hear anything he’s saying. This is some great television right here.
- Anyways! Puck has been dropped and we’re underway.
- The scorebug on this ABC broadcast just put up a timer with each team’s offensive zone possession time so far in this game. It looks like what you would think it look like in a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Good look there by Kevin Hayes that’s knocked aside by Frederik Andersen serves as the Flyers’ first real chance of the game.
- That looks like it’s either an incredible save by Martin Jones or a great job at the goal line by Gerry Mayhew to keep the puck out of the net, but either way, Derek Stepan gets absolutely robbed on the best chance either team has had so far.
- The ‘Canes have had the puck most of the way since that no-go chance from Stepan, but they’ve mostly only generated long chances that Jones has seen and grabbed easily.
- I miss the offensive zone.
- Dangerous shift there as Andrei Svechnikov gets a cross-ice pass through to Vincent Trocheck, who fortunately for the Flyers shoots it wide of the net. Bit of a scuffle in front after that which ends with Jones falling on the puck ... and a penalty, as Patrick Brown gets called for a cross-check against his old team.
- This feels like it’s going to end poorly.
- It didn’t! One decent look in front but ultimately that could have been a lot worse.
- And now the Flyers will go to a power play of their own, as “Jalen Chatfield”, whoever that is, commits a comically obvious cross-check on Mayhew just inside the Flyers’ blue line. Now we get to watch ... the Flyers’ power play ... against the Hurricanes’ league-best penalty kill. Wonder how it’s going to end.
- I mean, that could’ve been worse? Two good looks there for Cam Atkinson, and a long shot from Cam York that went off the post (that might have been deflected by JVR in close). The Flyers have definitely had worse power plays, even if that one ended without a goal.
- And that’s it for the first period. The score’s tied, and while the Flyers are definitely getting outplayed, frankly I thought they would be getting outplayed by more. Good period for Martin Jones, too.
- To that end, the graphic just put up on the ESPN broadcast said that scoring chances that period were 5-5. I don’t entirely know if I buy that (and it should be pointed out that Natural Stat Trick has scoring chances as 12-3 Hurricanes, which is an uncomfortably large difference), but that felt like a quantity-over-quality showing from Carolina. Which is still better than what the Flyers did, to be clear. Let’s see what happens next.
- Pretty quiet stretch here from both teams to start the period. Looked like the first, to be honest, in that the Canes are getting slightly better of the run of play but we’re not seeing a ton of great chances either way.
- But that ends here (or maybe it won’t), because Jordan Martinook just tripped Travis Konecny in the Flyers’ zone and the Flyers will head back to the power play.
- Well, that’s some efficiency in ineffectiveness. Kevin Hayes is called for a hook right in front of Andersen, and we’ll get 1:51 off 4-on-4 instead of a power play.
- Good shift of cycling for the Flyers that manages to see zero shots on goal, which turns into a partial breakaway for Svechnikov from the angle but he isn’t able to get one on net.
- And then, seconds later, Svechnikov gets another breakaway, this one straight in on Jones, and he somehow manages to not get it on net again. Not gonna get that lucky often.
- It was inevitable. Good passing sequence from the ‘Canes starts with a Giroux-esque pass off the back boards by Chatfield that’s grabbed by Stepan, and Stepan makes a very, very pretty pass to Steven Lorentz, who has half of an open net to shoot into because Jones followed Stepan over to the post. 1-0 Carolina about nine minutes into the period.
- Hey, Keith. Whatcha doing here?
Derek Stepan fools Martin Jones for his 500th NHL point on the assist. pic.twitter.com/goBDuJFk3O— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) March 12, 2022
- The Flyers are not inspiring a ton of confidence in this period. Just about no offense being generated.
- That was almost offense! In fact, it was a puck into the net! But it doesn’t count, as the ref immediately waives off Cam Atkinson’s game-tying goal because apparently skating right into the goalie before you shoot (as Derick Brassard did) is forbidden. That’s a shame. Still 1-0.
- He learned his lesson! This one counts! Long dump-in by Atkinson goes in on goal, Andersen can’t handle it, and Brassard rips the rebound shot past him to tie it at 1.
Derick Brassard jumps on a juicy rebound for his 200th career goal! pic.twitter.com/o0ScVay1Xg— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) March 12, 2022
- A few more good shifts for the Flyers follow that goal, and this is clearly the best run of play they’ve had in the game so far.
- Second period has come to an end with the two teams tied at one. Still not a great showing from the Flyers, but they had a run of nine straight shots on goal there (including Brassard’s game-tying tally) before a last-second shot by Jesper Fast. Carry that into the third period, and maybe you’ve got something cooking.
- Not much going on here in the first few minutes of this period, other than a shift or two where it looks like Mike Yeo may have changed up the pairings on defense (featuring a York/Provorov and Yandle/Braun shift) but they seem to be back rolling their normal pairs.
- Maybe the best chance of the period so far there comes about eight minutes in by Stepan in close, but Jones snares it with the glove. Shot might have been going high, but either way, another nice save for Jones.
- Another chance is erased by Jones, but it’s off of a shot from Svechnikov that he was in position for thanks to a bad turnover by Morgan Frost. The guy was trying to make something happen, but it didn’t work, and it’s the most noticeable thing he’s done today. Not ideal for his first game back at the NHL in a while.
- Hopefully nothing, probably nothing, but Giroux looks like he’s in a bit of pain on the bench. Looks like it’s his hand. Will see when he gets back on the ice.
- He is indeed back on the ice.
- Absolute sprint there to the boards to try and win a race to a loose puck by TK, which ends him him falling to the ice.
- Welp. That’s what I get for sitting here thinking “God, please, just don’t give me another overtime loss.” Clearing attempt along the boards by Provorov ends up on the stick of Ian Cole after he wins a puck battle with Atkinson, Vincent Trocheck fires it on net, Martinook deflects it mid-way (so why exactly is that dude so open right in the middle of the slot?), and the Hurricanes have the lead with just under four minutes to go.
- Mike Yeo goes with the fairly quick goalie pull, as Jones is on the bench with about 2:40 to go.
- I could talk about what happened next, or I can pull in this thought from Hurricanes fan Corey Sznajder, who — and this is not an exaggeration — watches more hockey than maybe any person on the planet:
This is one of the worst 6v5 attacks I have ever seen.— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) March 12, 2022
- It ends with Sebastian Aho putting the puck into the empty net.
Not an outright terrible showing from the Flyers — they were either tied or within a goal for the entire game until the final 21 seconds, after all — but ... this never really felt like a game that they should have been in. Not getting blown out of the water by any stretch, but other than the last six or so minutes of the second period, the Flyers just did not look like a team that can skate with this Hurricanes team, which is what we all should probably have expected but still is not exactly fun to watch.
They’ll get a chance to do it again tomorrow against Montreal. See you then.