Flyers-Bruins: Postgame Review
This was a rather pitiful game from the Flyers for the first 45 minutes. As they started to show signs of life, they nearly pulled off an improbable comeback, even by preseason standards, against the Bruins B-team.
Despite the three-goal rally that made it a game again on the scoreboard, the Flyers were badly outplayed for a stretch of the game and made mistakes that can't translate to regular-season play.
More from the Flyers 4-3 loss to the Bruins in our Postgame Review.
- Brian Elliott - It's hard to completely fault Brian Elliott for some of the Bruins goals in this game, but he's leaving a lot to be desired with the regular season closing in. If Michal Neuvirth is not ready to go and you have Alex Lyon on the shelf for three more weeks, how can you lean on Elliott? You can't. He's still shaking off the rust and trying to work himself back to normal.
Elliott had Brandon Carlo's shot through a screen clip his shoulder and go in. He couldn't corral the rebound on Peter Cehlarik's goal.
It's not to say that another goalie is going to be the answer. Stick Carter Hart in there and leave him out to dry for much of the game, you'll probably get a similar result. But Elliott just has his moments right now where he's not very sharp and with only two preseason games to go, that's a concern.
It makes you wonder if the Flyers are really going to give somebody else a shot or start looking elsewhere for another option, because Elliott's performance so far won't get it done when the season begins.
- Dynamic Duo - There wasn't really a standout Flyer in the first two periods, but in the third, Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny were quite the duo. Giroux and Konecny nearly connected for a goal in the second period on a beautiful feed by Giroux that Konecny tipped on goal and off the post. Giroux later set him up for a goal in the third.
If this is a preview of things to come in the regular season, watch out NHL. These two have great chemistry and this was the first preseason game where they played as linemates like they did for a time last season. When he really gets going, Giroux's got the look of the player he was last year, able to take over a game and provide the big goal or play. Konecny's got great finishing ability and should continue to be improved as his career grows.
But for starters, this was a nice finish by this duo, one that could be lethal in the regular season.
- Another Good Showing for Vorobyev, Knight - Both Mikhail Vorobyev and Corban Knight have had those games where they were among the standouts. There was nothing spectacular about their game on Monday, but for both players still fighting for a roster spot, there was nothing that hurt their chances.
Vorobyev skated with Giroux and Konecny and the line was limited for a good part of the game until the third, but Vorobyev is effective in board battles and is always solid in positioning.
Knight has shown something more, great chemistry with linemates Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl. That trio has the look of a potential fourth line that can bring more than just the gritty, grind 'em out minutes that a fourth line has to endure. They have the potential to be an offensive threat. When nothing was going right for the Flyers after the first few minutes of the second period, it was this potential fourth line that started the Flyers in the right direction with a solid shift of sustained pressure.
- Turnovers - Turnovers remained a prevalent part of the Flyers game on a couple of Bruins goals.
The first Boston goal by Cehlarik was the result of a defensive zone turnover by Andrew MacDonald and a failed clear by Claude Giroux. In MacDonald's case, that's probably a sign of rust after missing the entire preseason. Giroux just whiffed on a chance to clear and, seconds later, the puck was in the net.
It was Lee Stempniak's eventual game-winning goal that really was the result of a poor play. Phil Myers threw a blind pass back into the slot and Stempniak stepped up to intercept and fire a one-timer home to make it 4-0.
For Myers, this was his worst showing the preseason so far. He's been fairly steady, but still has his teachable moments. You wonder if MacDonald's presence on the ice on Monday coupled with Myers performance is enough to get him a trip to the minors to start the season, assuming all other defensemen are healthy. We'll see, with more cuts expected to come on Tuesday.
- Laughts to Like - Scott Laughton has been really noticeable over the last few games on the wing and seems to be embracing the role. He's had a lot more jump and energy and fits the role well.
There was a time when he seemed like an option for the third-line center spot. He still could be, but the Flyers liked what they saw from Laughton on the wing late last season and have to be pleased with his aggressive nature on the forecheck and his willingness to do that little bit extra necessary to create an opportunity.
By the Numbers
The Flyers were outplayed in the first period to the tune of a 55.56 CF% for the Bruins at 5-on-5. In the second and third periods, the Flyers led the Bruins in shot attempts at 5-on-5, 44-16. That said, many of the Flyers chances weren't in high-danger areas until the third period.
Stat of the Game
An area of struggle for the Flyers: giveaways. The Flyers had 13 giveaways in the game to Boston's five, certainly a large margin and a deciding factor in the game's result.