Flyers vs Canucks recap, score: like last year, but more entertaining
Before the events that took place in the final two and a half minutes of settling the Flyers’ 5-4 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks, this paragraph here (which I, as many do when writing a recap, had already written most of as a placeholder) stated the following:
The Flyers’ 2021-22 season opener brought new faces, excitement, a full crowd and a hot start, and then … a lot of hockey that looked like it was played by the 2020-21 Flyers. . A game is just that, and it would be silly to read too much of it in one game just because it’s the first game, but a lot of things we’re about to say about losing ____ des Flyers against the Vancouver Canucks are things we could have said who knows how many losses the Flyers lost last season.
Little did I know the Flyers had another trick up their sleeve for 2020-21: a furious last-minute rally that ultimately ended in defeat. But hey, at least this time they had the courtesy to get an OT point out of it.
Let’s get right to the point. Since it’s a loss, we’ll start with …
Some things that were wrong:
- The penalty. Things fell apart for the Flyers in the second period, when a pair of shorthanded goals helped the Canucks turn the tide quickly in this game. An odd shot from Elias Pettersson bounced off the backboards, Carter Hart and the net to give the Canucks the lead they would hold to the heroism of the Flyers at the end of settlement. A 5-on-4 turned into a 5-on-3 when the Flyers were incredibly successful in taking too many men on the ice while still killing a penalty, and the Canucks doubled their lead there- low when Alex Chiasson received several shots with the puck alone in close-up before Hart could cover him or before he could get help. A few unfortunate rebounds in there, and some really silly penalties that came before them, but that’s not a good omen for the question of “can the penalty bounce back after another bad year?” Cam Atkinson said after the game some guys maybe let their emotions get the better of the points (which, well, more on that in a moment), but if that’s the end result, something needs to be repaired.
- Carter Hart’s second period. Listen. It pains me as much as you, and all of us, and Carter Hart. But things snowballed here after those two unfortunate power play goals, both of which were quite unfortunate (and which were preceded by a beauty of a shot from Vasily Podkolzin who beat high-gloved Hart to equalize the one-on-one early in the second), and the Canucks’ last goal before the shootout, though arguably the whistle should have been whistled before JT Miller hit it in the net, was a sharp angle that any NHL goaltender needs to be able to cover and control better than He did. Hart bounced back in the third and made some huge saves in the 3-on-3 which certainly helped to cool down the discussions about him from where they were after the second period (it wasn’t pretty. !) -write a bit of the history of his game. But for a moment, that fourth goal seemed to be the culmination of a series of bad breaks that preceded it. Thanks to him for not letting the situation get worse, but hope it gets as bad as it gets going.
- The general trajectory of the first 56 minutes of play. The Flyers, with what was a fairly amplified home crowd behind them, got off to a good start and ran straight into the first period of the game, taking a 1-0 lead on a Joel Farabee goal and controlling play throughout. long the first period. And then, as the game progressed and the Canucks took that lead, things… snowballed. As it seems they have been trending a lot last year. A good shot leads to a stupid penalty, which leads to a flukey goal, which goes nowhere offensively, which leads to another penalty, which leads to another penalty while on that original PK and a goal 5 on 3, which leads to the wrong goal, which leads to a frustration penalty at the end of the second, which leads to a very, very slow third period where the Canucks dictated a rather slow period … foot should arrive as early as the last minute possible. This game is harder than “they did a good thing, now let’s do a good thing on our own”, but way too often last year when this team had a crappy rebound against them it would take way too much time to really get behind them and shake things up, and that was the story of that game between Podkolzin’s goal and when the Flyers pulled Hart out for the extra forward. Maybe it’s a coaching thing, maybe it’s a mentality thing, a leadership thing, a diagram thing … I don’t know. But it’s often a sport where every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and the Flyers’ opposite reactions tend to be a bit too late, as they were tonight.
These are the great stories of loss. Corn! In a somewhat shorter form:
Some things that weren’t bad:
- Joël Farabee. Still good.
- The new guys. Ryan Ellis looked good next to Ivan Provorov (who was also good). Keith Yandle had two secondary assists which both helped establish the goal. Cam Atkinson scored a goal and was buzzing all over the place. It didn’t lead to a W, but the big acquisitions that were on the ice seemed to help matters.
- The first period. For everything that looked like last season, it was definitely new! Good push from everyone involved from the start.
- The final push to tie him up. Not just because of the actual act of hooking up the game, though that was fun too. (A hell of a job from Couturier and Giroux, who had an impressive first half but were very, very calm after that until that point, to connect on the tying goal. Giroux seemed to know exactly what he was doing. wanted to do there, and it worked.) But the man, the crowd, who had been successfully put to sleep by what had happened the previous two periods, was living when the Flyers got it on a goal, and the dang roof almost came off when they actually tied the thing up. These people want to like this team. They really do. Just give them reasons. Ideally before the last few minutes of regulation, but whenever it’s cool I guess.
More to talk about here, and we’ll have more tomorrow. Seattle Monday. Let’s go dunk on Dave Hakstol. Until then … one down, 81 to the left. Go Flyers.