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Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR4) Gm 53: EDM 3, PHI 0 – Beginning Of The End


Mikko Koskinen of all goalies stymied the Flyers offense, pitching his first shutout in three years to bring the Oilers back to .500 on a difficult road swing. (Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Mikko Koskinen of all goalies stymied the Flyers offense, pitching his first shutout in three years to bring the Oilers back to .500 on a difficult road swing. (Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR4) Gm 53: EDM 3, PHI 0 – Beginning Of the End

New month, same old, same old. The Philadelphia Flyers lose, 3-0, to the Edmonton Oilers. Despite throwing 39 shots on net (tied for their third-highest total of the season), the Flyers were blanked for the fifth time this season, the beginning of a month that could go down in Flyers history — just not because of anything that happens on the ice.

Well, at least probably, especially if you’re only talking about positive outcomes. It’s possible this is the beginning of another massive losing streak for the Flyers, who have lost 19 of 22 games in 2022. Or maybe they settle into the same back-and-forth mode they couldn’t escape down the stretch in 2021; that would represent a clear upgrade from the nightmare of the last three and a half months. But March marks the month of the trade deadline, which is now less than three weeks away. The version of the Flyers that ends this month will likely look much different than the one that came up short tonight.

As has been the case so many times in the last month and a half, it’s not that the Flyers played truly poor hockey. But this was also far from their strongest game. It was similar to the Penguins game from a few weeks ago in that the Flyers’ best players were their best players. Philadelphia’s top-line not only held its own despite a heavy dose of Connor McDavid; they dominated the Oilers’ defense, with Joel Farabee and Claude Giroux finishing with expected goals percentages above 90%. Cam Atkinson wasn’t too far behind; nor was the top pair of Ivan Provorov and Justin Braun.

But the big guns weren’t able to finish, and the rest of the lineup didn’t just not pick up the slack; they handed it right to the Oilers. Edmonton had over 70% of the expected goals rate when the Farabee-Giroux-Atkinson line wasn’t on the ice. And while the Flyers did pepper Mikko Koskinen with 39 shots, they lost the expected goals and scoring chances battles at both even strength and all situations, while being merely even in scoring chances. It was a battle of quality vs. quantity, one that the Oilers, playing the role of the former, won handily. Another tough night for the Flyers’ special teams (even if Leon Draisaitl’s 1st period PPG is one Carter Hart might want back) also played a role.

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of generating positive momentum for next season, both for team morale and tangible gains in development. March 2022 may go down in Flyers lore for being the last act of Claude Giroux, with Chuck Fletcher accumulating a slew of picks and prospects for him and several other of the Flyers’ pending UFAs. It’s precisely because of that prospect the Flyers need to show urgency if they’re going to have a realistic shot at being able to get that momentum. With Kevin Hayes and Wade Allison potentially coming back as soon as Saturday, the Flyers will have about two-and-a-half weeks before another gutting of their roster likely ensues.

Potential Flyers Roster, 3/5 – 3/20

Joel FarabeeClaude GirouxCam Atkinson
Oskar LindblomKevin HayesTravis Konecny
James van RiemsdykDerick BrassardWade Allison
Gerry MayhewScott LaughtonZack MacEwen
Ivan ProvorovJustin Braun
Travis SanheimRasmus Ristolainen
Keith YandleNick Seeler

Potential Flyers Roster, 3/21 – End of Season (4/29)

Joel FarabeeKevin HayesCam Atkinson
Oskar LindblomScott LaughtonTravis Konecny
James van RiemsdykMorgan FrostWade Allison
Gerry MayhewPatrick BrownZack MacEwen
Ivan ProvorovTravis Sanheim
Cam YorkNick Seeler
Egor ZamulaKevin Connauton

Even critics of Ristolainen and Yandle’s play can admit the latter lineup is far worse than the former; and not solely because of Claude Giroux’s absence. His is obviously the most significant, combining with Derick Brassard to turning the Flyers’ center depth from almost being able to resemble a strength to an absolute weakness. The defense is absolutely in shambles, with two, maybe three no-doubt NHL-caliber defensemen at best.

And that’s assuming the Flyers decide players like York, Frost, and Zamula are better off playing for an NHL team that will likely be heavily outplayed in the vast majority of their games, rather than having a better chance to thrive in the AHL. A York call-up seems like a sure thing, but it wouldn’t be a massive shock to see Frost or/and Zamula stay down. Not to mention who knows if Felix Sandström runs with the backup job or falters if Martin Jones is traded as well.

The latter roster is incredibly unlikely to be able to generate any momentum heading into 2021-22. But they could maybe further progress made by the former lineup; or at the very least, have their deficits canceled out by the former’s gains. But even the best version of the 2021-22 Flyers is far from guaranteed said momentum. It’s not the end of the world if they don’t. But if there’s one thing this season has shown, it’s that the Flyers could use all the help they can get.


This is Mikko Koskinen’s first shutout since March 2, 2019, a 30-save blanking of Columbus. He’d gone 108 games without one before Tuesday.

Derick Brassard did play Tuesday after missing the morning skate; it’s the first time since Nov. 20-23 he’s played in consecutive games.

Not too late to read about the Flyers’ win from Saturday!

Finally, no matter who you’re a fan of — the Flyers, Oilers, Capitals, whoever — we’re on the team of The Athletic Penguins writer Rob Rossi.

3 Stars

3rd: Kalier Yamamoto (EDM) – Goal (11)

2nd: Mikko Koskinen (EDM) – Shutout (1) on 39 Shots, 3.19 Expected Goals Against

1st: Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – Goal (37), Assist (39), 5 Shots, 23:20 TOI


EDM: 3/3, 8:30 PM vs. CHI (19-27-8, L1)

PHI: 3/3, 7 PM vs. MIN (31-17-3, L4)

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