Flyers-Ducks: Postgame Review
The Flyers carried a 3-1-0 record into the final game of a five-game homestand with their lone loss being a tight-checking 1-0 shutout loss to Nashville.
For eight games on the season, the Flyers have been a competitive group. But on Tuesday night, they turned in their first true clunker of the season in a 6-2 drubbing by the Anaheim Ducks.
Here is the Postgame Review.
- Let's cut right to the chase here. The Flyers played their worst game of the season on Tuesday night. And it wasn't even close.Defensively, the Flyers were off all game. The passing wasn't crisp. They couldn't match Anaheim's speed or intensity. The Ducks were the better team from the drop of the puck.
You have to just chalk this one up to nothing going right and move on to Thursday night. But with four of the next five games on the road, this was a tough way to end an otherwise very successful homestand,
- The first mistake of the night was probably even messing with the defensive pairings. Obviously adjustments had to be made with Andrew MacDonald out of the lineup. But Robert Hagg finally had a game where he looked human and Ivan Provorov didn't fare much better. The pairing of Brandon Manning and Travis Sanheim did not have a good defensive game at all.Look, losing one defenseman, especially one as maligned by fans as Andrew MacDonald is, doesn't do you in on the blue line. But if you don't think that the loss of MacDonald has some sort of impact, go back and watch this game. The Flyers lost for many reasons, but MacDonald's absence was noticeable.
- So nine games into the season and here we are talking about goaltending again. It wouldn't be a Flyers season without it, right?This was Brian Elliott's sixth start of the season in nine games and it's now the second time he's allowed six goals in a game. The problem here is, much like the 6-5 goal-scoring frenzy in Nashville, not many of the goals could be pinned on Elliott. He should have stopped Ryan Getzlaf's goal in the third. He probably could have made a better play on the Ducks power-play goal in the season. But that's really it.
But it's a numbers game. In six games, Elliott has a 3.33 GAA and .876 save percentage. Michal Neuvirth has a 1.36 GAA and .957 save percentage in three games. It's early and the sample sizes are small, but Elliott's not winning over the Philly crowd with games like this.
- If losing Andrew MacDonald for 4-to-6 weeks was the Flyers first injury blow, their second one may have come on Tuesday night. We don't know the extent of anything yet, so we're not going to speculate, but Nolan Patrick took a heavy hit along the corner boards and his head made significant contact with the glass right along a stanchion. Patrick looked wobbly and disheveled as he left the ice and did not return.
- Perhaps the only positive of this game was the continued strong play of the first line. Sean Couturier accounted for the Flyers two goals, bringing him to six on the season. Jake Voracek added two more assists. Claude Giroux assisted on one goal. Travis Sanheim got his first NHL point with an assist on the other.It wasn't a night to remember for any player on the team, but Couturier's offensive potential is starting to reach new heights. He's around the net constantly and finishing. That's a good sign for the Flyers first line going forward.
Kevin Durso is Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.