EDMONTON, Alberta — If general manager Chuck Fletcher is wondering how the Flyers are 29th in the NHL in goals allowed per game, then he should look no further than Sean Monahan’s game-tying goal Wednesday night with seven seconds remaining in regulation (see story).
It’s the type of goal that seems to be a common occurrence with the Flyers this season.
And a goal that could have been easily prevented — on a number of levels.
A very easy zone entry
When the Flyers cleared the puck with roughly 20 seconds remaining, Jakub Voracek came off the ice after a 1:53 shift (which included a timeout) and Dale Weise jumped on.
The Flyers completely surrendered the blue line. As Weise crossed into the defensive zone, he had the perfect opportunity to intercept Monahan’s cross-ice pass to Matthew Tkachuk, clear the puck and end the game.
It just went over the top of my stick. I couldn’t bat it down. I couldn’t reach it with my stick. I was trying everything I could to get a piece of it.
- Dale Weise
Too much standing around
When Weise failed to corral the puck, there was an opportunity to pressure Tkachuk along the boards and tie up the puck. Instead, Weise backed off and three different Flyers watched Tkachuk assess the situation before sending in a shot on net.
I’d like to see more top-down pressure on the half wall, and that’s where a lot of it starts. There’s a switch there that would happen if Weise continues the top-down pressure. It’s not an easy read.
- Dave Hakstol
Andrew MacDonald was at the end of a 1:01 shift when Monahan scored the game-tying goal. Standing in front of the crease, he watched Tkachuk’s shot from outside the circle and then proceeded to observe Monahan clean up the rebound in front of the crease, posing as an innocent bystander.
With MacDonald standing a few feet in front of Monahan and Claude Giroux on his back hip, there’s simply no reason why the Flames' center should have had such an easy swipe at the puck for a rebound opportunity.
Positioning himself in the circle to Anthony Stolarz’s left, Ivan Provorov was stationed between Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau, who was hugging the left post. Provorov could have engaged Tkachuk, applying the pressure Hakstol was looking for, but his initial reaction was positioning and blocking the incoming shot.
Provorov’s attempt was a futile one. With the game on the line, if you’re going to commit to blocking the shot, then that would have been the moment to fully commit.
Flyers' positioning should have prevented the disaster
The Flames made this play a rather easy one for the Flyers to defend. What probably frustrates Hakstol is that the Flyers had the Flames covered, but their passiveness cost them a chance at the win — even on a 6-on-5 with Calgary having pulled the goalie.
The Flames proved they didn’t need five players on the ice to execute this play to perfection.
With the time left, there’s going to be a mentality for them to get a puck to the net, and that’s what they did. It’s a quick bang-bang play. That’s where the look on that play should and could be different.
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