Flyers-Islanders: Postgame Review
For some players, it was a chance to make an impression. For others, particularly veterans, it's a tune-up for the regular season.
The Flyers had some players looking to make good impressions do so in their second preseason game and certainly had veterans who showed some signs of midseason form.
The takeaways from Monday's 3-1 Flyers win over the Islanders in our Postgame Review.
- Vorobyev Stands Out - Mikhail Vorobyev was one of the players Ron Hextall praised earlier on Monday in his training camp efforts so far. He took full advantage of his opportunity in Monday's game.He scored the first goal of the preseason for the Flyers, but more than that was all the little things he did throughout the game. Vorobyev took a penalty on the first shift of the game in the first minute. After that, he didn't really make a mistake.His play with Jake Voracek on the goal was smooth and his hands were on display. For the rest of the game, he was a steady forward showing off two-way ability. He looked solid on the penalty kill and nearly threaded a pass to Dale Weise on a shorthanded chance.
The only other area where Vorobyev struggled was face-offs, losing 15 of 19 he took.
He was very present in this game, and that should warrant more of a look at the preseason progresses.
- Power Play Special - Shayne Gostisbehere's thing is being able to set up shop at the point on the power play and fire away. He got two of those on goal in Monday's game for a pair of goals.The Flyers struggled to generate much of anything on their power-play chances in Sunday's opener. With more of an NHL lineup in place -- the Flyers also had Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk, Voracek and Vorobyev on the top power-play unit -- this group went to work and turned it into two goals.But Ghost's shot was on point and he used it in the right spots to strike for offense. On the power play, he looked to be in midseason form.
- Hart's Debut - Just five seconds past the halfway point of the game, Carter Hart entered an NHL game for the first time in his career. He stopped the final 11 shots from the Islanders for the remainder of the game.There was nothing flashy about Hart's debut. No highlight-reel saves were to be found. But he was very steady and poised in the crease. The stage didn't intimidate him and he showed the skills that have become very polished on the young netminder, tracking the puck well and staying composed in goal.This is obviously only the beginning for Hart and it probably won't change the Flyers plans, but he should get much more of a look before the preseason is over.
- Notable Prospects - In addition to Vorobyev and Hart, there were a couple of prospects that stood out to me.Nicolas Aube-Kubel had a very strong game, very active on the forecheck, very physical and going to the dirty areas. It's the type of game you would like to see rewarded with at least a point, but he showed a very well-rounded game in his 13:02 of ice time, playing on the penalty kill and on the second power play unit.Phil Myers was having another steady game up until an interference penalty midway through the third. It's worth noting that Myers still looks like he is trying to do too much with the puck, but his positioning looks better and he can skate well enough and use his size to his advantage to make up for some mistakes. Playing him with Ivan Provorov is not a bad idea either. Provorov is so well-rounded in his game already that he could be able to cover up for some of the rookie mistakes Myers would make.
Mark Friedman had a decent game as well. He's got good mobility and carries the puck in a way that Gostisbehere does, just with not as much speed. He had a couple of bad turnovers in the game, but overall, it was a solid performance and he could be a call-up option down the road if he can build on some things in his pro game with the Phantoms.
Finally, props to Yegor Zamula, the last remaining ATO in camp, for a decent game of his own. Zamula played 18:39 in the game with one shot, one hit and two blocked shots. At the very least, he didn't look out of place in an NHL setting, which can certainly help his confidence no matter what happens for the rest of camp.
- Vets Gearing Up - In addition to Gostisbehere, it seems like Giroux, Voracek, van Riemsdyk and Provorov are also poised to start the season strong. Giroux seemed to be up on his skates all night. Voracek had some good chemistry with van Riemsdyk and JVR was a force around the net, particularly on both power-play goals. Provorov had his typical solid game as well, playing 21:04.
"It felt good to get out there and play a real preseason game. It felt good to get out there and play in front of the home fans. Just get out there with some of the big boys. It was a lot of fun." - Flyers goalie Carter Hart
"[Mikhail Vorobyev] continued to be doing what he’s been doing. We’re putting a lot on his plate and tonight he played on the power play in a little different spot. he did a good job on the PK and I thought his 5 on 5 was good. He finished on the wrong side of percentages in terms of face-offs, so that’s an area that he needs to put a little bit of focus on, but he played a good hockey game tonight." - Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol
By the Numbers
The Flyers did a really solid job of closing out the game. They held the Islanders to eight shot attempts at 5-on-5 in the third period while taking 12 of their own. Through the first two periods, shot attempts were even at 25 each at 5-on-5.