Welcome to the Weekly Power Rankings–a definitive list of what went well and what needs to pretend to change for a few months in the BSH-verse this week.
T-1. Owen Tippett
T-1. Samuel Ersson
Despite multiple recounts, this one just kept coming back tied, so these two’ll just have to share the spotlight at the top of our power rankings. The Flyers only played two games this week and Tippett recorded a goal and an assist in each of them, for 4 points this week. He scored a third-period goal against the Sharks to kick off a comeback from down two goals and then assisted on the overtime winner. His New Year’s Eve performance was just as productive if not as dramatic: an assist on the Flyers’ opening power-play goal and then his own to tie the game at 2 in the second period. The strong weak brings his season point total to 20, just below his career-high of 21 last season.
Meanwhile, with Cart Hart on IR, Ersson stepped up and notched his first and second career wins this week, going 2-0 with a .912 save percentage. The 23-year-old allowed 3 in the overtime win over the Sharks and stood tall against what has been a surprisingly good—and recently hot—Kings team, only allowing 2 goals and none after the first period.
3. Disney on Ice
The seasonal tenants of the Wells Fargo Center were back this year, sending the Flyers on the road for the week. I have no idea if the show is actually any good—this year it was built on Frozen and Encanto so at the very least I’m sure it had catchy tunes and pleased some small children—but things didn’t go as bad for the Flyers during this week as they have in the past few years. The Flyers will be closing out their current road trip tomorrow night against one of the very worst-performing teams in the NHL this year, the Anaheim Ducks.
4. “Auld Lang Syne”
This Scottish traditional tune just hits right during this time of year. I saw some TikTok that I now can’t find, of course, about how the melody and tune are like perfectly engineered to set off all of our melancholic and nostalgic brain-parts. That, and probably that I associate it with all of Bedford Falls singing it to George Bailey—the richest man in town—every time I hear it.
5. The US World Junior team
Yes, they lost to Slovakia, but with wins over Latvia, Switzerland, and Finland, the boys secured their place at the top of Group B and are set to open the tournament round against Germany. Coyotes draftee Logan Cooley and Blues draftee Jimmy Snuggerud led the way in scoring for the team with 7 points, while future former Flyer Cutter Gauthier recorded 5 points.
Honorable mentions to: Bill Camp’s bit part in White Noise; the Mummers; year-end lists that actually come out when the year ends; “This Will Be Our Year” by the Zombies and “This Year” by the Mountain Goats; Amy Sedaris’ appearance on Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen’s New Year’s Eve show last night; the Philadelphia Flyers; and fireworks.
Overtime had long loomed large over these Philadelphia Flyers, but they have finally slayed it. After going 0-7 beyond the third period, including one shootout loss and losses to the Arizona State University Coyotes and the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Flyers finally scored a golden goal against the Sharks this week.
Tony DeAngelo wins it for the Flyers in overtime. That's the Flyers' first OT win of the season. pic.twitter.com/UxnhMUhGBO— Ryan Quigley (@ryanquigz) December 30, 2022
2. Eating healthy/exercising
It’s not so much that these things are doing poorly recently (although they are) as much as they are going to be on everyone’s mind as they resolve to make changes for 2023 and they are BAD. Eating healthy? Not snacking between meals? Putting on exercise clothes and going outside into the cold? These are some of the worst things in the world. But we have to do them for January and maybe even for part of February. It’s the rules.
3. Kevin Hayes
It wasn’t the best week for the Flyers’ highest-paid player, as he didn’t record a point in either victory and everybody’s still contemplating whether he should be bought out. The Flyers barely broke even in shot attempts with him on the ice at even strength against a pretty weak opponent in San Jose (12-11) and got buried with him on the ice against the Kings (5-15).
4. Bryce Harper
The Phillies outfielder and NLCS hero attended an NHL game last night to see…let me check my notes…NOT the Flyers. Harper instead saw the Golden Knights—his hometown team—beat the Predators in overtime. We won’t hold it against him for now, but do expect to see him in a Flyers sweater in a few decades once he’s quietly retired in South Jersey and the Flyers are in the playoffs again.
Took a big hit this week in Flyerland! Not a single loss to speak of. That hasn’t happened in a single calendar week all season. Losing was of course at a big disadvantage thanks to the holiday break—it only had two chances this week. There’s only three chances in the coming week—the Ducks, the Coyotes, and the Maple Leafs, so there’s a chance that losing doesn’t stay down for long.
Honorable mentions to: Twitter Blue; Chuck Fletcher; Babylon’s box office performance; Californian hockey teams; Pelé (RIP); and my cats during fireworks.