Flyers cap special November, enter December with most points since Eric Lindros-led 1995-96 team

Flyers cap special November, enter December with most points since Eric Lindros-led 1995-96 team


Finally, a November to remember.

The Flyers capped off a big-time month by beating the Canadiens, 4-3, in overtime Saturday afternoon at Bell Centre (see highlights).

Alain Vigneault's team went 10-2-4 with an NHL-best 24 points in November. Those marks are a sight for sore eyes after the Flyers went a combined 23-29-14 over their previous five Novembers.

To finish the month in style, Ivan Provorov maneuvered the puck between his legs en route to scoring the game-winning goal just 31 seconds into overtime.

The Flyers (15-7-5) have won four straight games, a stretch in which they've allowed only 1.75 goals per game.

The Canadiens (11-9-6) have lost seven games in a row.

• Let's provide some context on how notable this start is for the Flyers.

They have their most points (35) entering December since the 1995-96 club, which had 36 at 16-6-4.

That season, Hall of Famer Eric Lindros was 22 years old and scored a career-high 115 points. Terry Murray was behind the bench.

In 2018-19, the Flyers had 10 total wins after October and November.

In 2017-18, they had eight total wins after October and November.

The 2019-20 Flyers won 10 games in November alone, matching the most the franchise has ever won during the month.

• Morgan Frost was moved off the first line during the third period in favor of Michael Raffl.

There's a good chance Vigneault wanted to shorten his bench in the final stanza and go with a safer, sound first line. Montreal was pushing hard and Raffl is a trustworthy player who makes smart decisions.

It's not a knock on Frost — it's just that he's only 20 years old and was playing in his seventh career NHL game.

Frost joined Tyler Pitlick and James van Riemsdyk, a group that didn't play the final seven minutes of the contest.

Vigneault really wanted that game.

• The Flyers didn't pay Kevin Hayes to light up the scoreboard every game. They believe he'll make plays, but they also wanted the 27-year-old center for his 200-foot focus and penalty kill strengths.

If he can score at a steady clip like he has over the past seven games, the Flyers (and fans) will be happy.

Hayes doesn't have a multi-point game in this seven-game spurt but he has consistently been a presence, recording four goals, two assists and a plus-3 mark.

When Hayes scored his career-high 25 goals in 2017-18, he had five markers through 27 games. This season, he already has eight in 27. Good signs from him.

• Brian Elliott, who entered 3-0-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in November, registered 39 huge saves.

He was vulnerable early on when he allowed a goal 19 seconds into the game. But he made a number of timely stops as he was under siege for most of the afternoon.

The 34-year-old goalie has provided everything the Flyers could have envisioned when they re-signed him this offseason.

• Travis Konecny, who didn't look 100 percent healthy Friday, looked pretty good sniping a go-ahead goal early in the third period against the Canadiens.

He has 25 points in 27 games. Last season, it took him 48 games to notch his 25th point.

His progress remains one of the Flyers' biggest positives and he'll enjoy the off day Sunday.

• Following a healthy scratch Friday, Philippe Myers was back in the lineup for Robert Hagg. The Flyers are high on the 22-year-old Myers and the probable odd-man out on defense moving forward is Hagg. But the Flyers will want to get him games from time to time — he's a good extra defenseman to have and there's definitely pressure to perform among the blueliners.

• The Flyers are off Sunday and practice at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Voorhees, New Jersey, before kicking off their December slate Tuesday when they welcome the Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Hitting the road this week, or wasting away on the couch in a food coma? The perfect time to binge your favorite NBC Sports Philadelphia podcast! Click here for more.

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What it was like to go back to work at Flyers training camp

What it was like to go back to work at Flyers training camp

These are different times; or the new norm as many like to call it.

Everyone is tasked with adjusting to these times. For me, on Monday, July 13, I was tasked with my own adjustments ... in order to watch and report on hockey. Suffice it to say, for me, life — and my simple adjustments, considering all things — could be much worse. I was happy to return to Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, for the first time since March 11, a span of 124 days.

The Flyers were back to work at their practice facility with the opening of training camp in preparation for the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.

Monday, July 13, was different — and that's OK. I'm going to enjoy as we adjust.

Here was a different day at Flyers practice (with plenty of hand sanitizer and wearing my mask):

Checking in

I arrived to the facility at 9:23 a.m. and hung tight in my air-conditioned car. Not too bad, right?

Gritty was probably back inside on the elliptical and hitting the bench press. Respect the grind.

Typically, I would walk in through the front doors of Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone at my own leisure, head upstairs, get situated and prepare for the day at hand.

On Monday, though, media members permitted back to the facility had to enter between 10-10:30 a.m. for a temperature and symptom check. Wearing a mask (as all were in the facility), I passed my temperature check, filled out a form answering symptom questions, and was on my way upstairs.

Watching practice

There is a ton of space in the common area upstairs. Instead of all reporters cozying up in the more confined media room on that level, the Flyers and Skate Zone set up separate workstations for each writer in the common area with proper social distance.

Very safe and very nice of them.

At one point, I think I nearly drank my coffee through my mask; we made it work.

But I digress.

When the morning and afternoon practices were held, we could stand and watch from the media room, which has windows that overlook the ice. We were asked to maintain social distance when doing so ... no biggie at all. When practices wrapped up (or whenever we needed to), we could head back to our individual and assigned workstations.

During development or training camps, entering the rink area and watching along the boards is an awesome luxury. It provides a terrific vantage point to shoot video, take notes, snap pictures, analyze drills and gain a greater insight of the competition.

Currently, no media members are allowed to enter either of the two practice rinks and understandably so. Not the end of the world as we can still observe from upstairs with a great view.

Good to see faces, even on video

Normally with practice, whenever the first skater heads off the ice following a practice, we all scurry downstairs and toward the Flyers' dressing room for access to interview players and head coach Alain Vigneault.

Conversing with players in person and 1-on-1 is what I've missed greatly during the coronavirus pandemic. Building relationships and telling stories are what make our jobs special. Access to a locker room is so beneficial because it offers you an emotional sense for the story, allows you to see and feel beyond the score of a game and what happened on the ice.

Right now, having close interactions in media scrums or tight quarters is not feasible or logical. But it's still great to see faces of colleagues or Flyers personnel from a distance or via video.

From our workstations using Webex, we were able to interview Vigneault, general manager Chuck Fletcher and players Matt Niskanen, Claude Giroux, Shayne Gostisbehere and Travis Konecny.

Raising your hand virtually ain't so bad. It's like a supremely organized way to work in your question. And everyone could hear us through our masks.

Stick taps to all those involved

So many deserve a ton of credit for creating a safe environment in uncharted waters.

Three folks who are always helping and have made these waters as smooth as possible for us media: Flyers senior director of communications Zack Hill, director of public relations Joe Siville and manager of broadcasting and media services Brian Smith.

Following the final interview around 3:30 p.m., it was time to pack up and hit the road. We usually can stay as long as we'd like to write and work but the Flyers have asked media members to exit the premises approximately 15 minutes after the last virtual press conference. Again, completely understandable.

I've always liked staying at the facility to work. It's pretty quiet and there's a rink. Then I can drive home at a calmer hour.

But these are different times and we all need to adjust. Like a hockey team, everyone plays a part.

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Flyers sign Mark Friedman to 2-year contract extension

Flyers sign Mark Friedman to 2-year contract extension

VOORHEES, N.J. — Mark Friedman took the ice Monday afternoon with a new contract for the next two seasons.

The Flyers signed the 24-year-old defenseman to a two-year, one-way contract extension with an average annual value of $725,000. Friedman was set to become a restricted free agent in the offseason.

Friedman has given the Flyers good depth to their crowded blue line. Head coach Alain Vigneault liked what he saw from Friedman in the 2014 third-round pick's six games with the club during the regular season.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder is reliable, quick on his feet and plays with purpose. Friedman looks like he'll be the Flyers' eighth defenseman during the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament. He was a part of the afternoon session Monday at Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone as the team opened training camp in preparation for the resumption of the season.

Friedman will compete for a roster spot next season and serve as a dependable call-up option if he's with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

In the offseason, the Flyers will have to decide if they want to re-sign veteran Justin Braun, who has been good for them and can become an unrestricted agent. The Flyers' defense will get only more intriguing in 2020-21. The blue line is an area of strength for the Flyers, who are young at the position and have prospects nearing, as well.

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers