Flyers

Flyers film review: Oskar Lindblom building office behind net

Flyers film review: Oskar Lindblom building office behind net

When all went wrong for the Flyers two weeks ago, the scoring dried up at the expense of the coaching staff tightening up the system to cover up for the team’s defensive deficiencies.

The Flyers failed to create quality scoring chances and relied too heavily on perimeter shots, which has been an often-used strategy during the Dave Hakstol era to mixed results.

They weren’t creating enough from down low in high-danger areas. During their three-game losing streak, they scored two goals in 180 minutes, but it wasn’t for a lack of shots on goal.

In fact, the Flyers outshot their opponents, 87-80. Not exactly a huge margin, but still. What the numbers say backs up the eye test too. The Flyers were not creating dangerous chances.

Out West, the Flyers rediscovered their scoring touch. They tallied 11 goals in the first three games, outshooting their opponents, 92-87, but also shooting more from high-danger zones.

One player, in particular, who helped the Flyers shift away from being a perimeter team in California is 22-year-old winger Oskar Lindblom, who had a career week in the Golden State.

Lindblom had the most productive week of his brief NHL career, one that saw the strong possession numbers translate into point production, which pleases both crowds of fans.

With back-to-back multi-point games and a three-game point streak, Lindblom enters Monday carrying momentum along with his linemates Nolan Patrick and Jakub Voracek.

It’s a small sample size, but Lindblom set up shop behind the net and went to work, in puck battles and creating opportunities. Three of his four assists last week came from this area.

Let’s take a look at the film to explain why the Flyers need to create more offense from this area and what Lindblom does so well there.

Patrick game-winner

There was a lot to like about Patrick’s goal Tuesday. Robert Hagg held the line twice, allowing for the offensive-zone time and Lindblom went directly to his workspace around the net.

Lindblom was camped in front of the net on Hagg’s second keep-in, which allowed him to get to the puck easily behind the net. Before he scooped it up, he surveyed his options and saw Patrick maneuvering his way into the slot where there was a huge pocket lacking Ducks.

Patrick beat Ryan Miller on a “perfectly bad shot.” But without Lindblom’s yeoman's work, this goal never happens.

Simmonds' goal in L.A.

On Wayne Simmonds' goal Thursday, Lindblom's work behind the net was on full display. Lindblom scooped up a rebound behind the cage, backhanded in front, followed through, and then held off Adrian Kempe in a battle before hitting Simmonds for the one-timer.

The zoomed-out look gives you a good perspective of Lindblom's vision of seeing Simmonds sneak into scoring position.

This angle shows you exactly where he hit Simmonds on the tape.

Voracek goal in San Jose

On the first two plays we looked at, Lindblom had sustained work down low leading to him picking up an assist. This goal was slightly different but the same premise.

It was a fast-moving play with a delayed penalty after Brent Burns tripped Ivan Provorov on a mini-break. Lindblom simply gathered the puck behind the net, looked at his options and threaded a slow-moving pass into an area where Voracek was heading.

This was a good example of why attacking defenses from behind the net should be a strategy the Flyers adopt more often.

The Flyers began attacking more from down low in the zone, and as the cliché goes, they got pucks deep and created offense from it.

We can formulate theories as for why the Flyers were looser out West, but they adopted an attacking offensive strategy that they hopefully will stick to going forward.

The results in California were encouraging — Lindblom especially. Let's hope the Flyers keep the tape from last week pinned to their Twitters.

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Flyers' Radko Gudas receives 2-game suspension, opening door for Philippe Myers

Flyers' Radko Gudas receives 2-game suspension, opening door for Philippe Myers

Radko Gudas was burned by his reputation Wednesday and it will cost him from playing in two of the Flyers' biggest games this season.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety handed down a two-game suspension for Gudas' high-sticking infraction to the head of Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov during the third period of the Flyers' 5-2 loss Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Gudas is classified as a repeat offender under the terms of the CBA and his history of such penalties bit him in this circumstance, as he'll miss Thursday's road game against the Canadiens and Saturday's Stadium Series game against the Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field. 

On top of the suspension, the Flyers' defenseman will also forfeit $81,707.32.

Here was the review and reasoning behind the decision from the NHL's Department of Player Safety:

While we agree with Gudas' assertion that this slash is not excessively forceful or violent, this is an intentional play by Gudas. A player who intentionally brings his stick down onto the head of an opponent with a two-handed slashing motion can expect to be penalized by the on-ice officials and, in most cases, be met with some form of supplemental discipline be it a warning, a fine or a suspension.

What causes this play to rise to the level of a suspension is Gudas' disciplinary history, specifically his history of similar behavior.

Prior to this incident, Gudas had been hit with suspensions of 10 games (2017-18), six games (2016-17) and three games (2015-16).

The 28-year-old has cleaned up his play significantly this season, becoming one of the Flyers' most reliable defensemen. Gudas owns a team-best plus-12 rating and his penalties have been down compared to years past. He also plays the Flyers' second-most penalty-kill minutes (159:16), while leading the team in hits (197) and blocking the third-most shots (101).

His absence opens the door for 22-year-old prospect Philippe Myers, who has played just one NHL game — his debut last weekend. It marks a huge opportunity for Myers to prove himself to the coaching staff and general manager Chuck Fletcher.

"Phil Myers can help this team win right now, too," Fletcher said Feb. 9.

"He's still a young man and really, his key time will be next year at training camp and earning a full-time spot for a full season. But right now, if we can get him some experience, practice seems great, being around the team is great, if he can get some games, that'll only help him as he prepares for next year."

The Flyers entered Wednesday six points out of the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot with 22 games remaining. Two teams they're chasing in the playoff hunt are the Canadiens and Penguins, both of whom have 71 points compared to the Flyers' 63.

Meanwhile, Gudas wasn't the Flyers' only defenseman in trouble Wednesday. Robert Hagg was fined $3,091.40 for interference on Cedric Paquette during Tuesday's game.

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Scott Hartnell, other fan favorites highlight Flyers alumni game for 2019 Stadium Series weekend

Scott Hartnell, other fan favorites highlight Flyers alumni game for 2019 Stadium Series weekend

What makes the Stadium Series that much more fun is how it brings the families and alumni together for the weekend.

The Flyers' alumni showdown for this year's event should be plenty of fun.

On Wednesday, the roster was announced for the game, which will be held Friday at 7 p.m. on Penn's campus at the Class of '23 Arena. 

Many fan favorites will suit up, including Scott Hartnell, who has been a busy man since retiring in October. Hartnell was honored by the Flyers in December and was officially named an on-air analyst Wednesday for the NHL Network.

Here are the former Flyers that will play Friday against alumni from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

Forwards

• Riley Cote, Brian Propp, Danny Briere, Todd Fedoruk, Scott Hartnell, Mitch Lamoureux, Dave Brown

Defensemen

• Brad Marsh, Joe Watson, Terry Carkner, Doug Crossman, Kjell Samuelsson, Jim Watson, Nick Schultz, Kimmo Timonen

Goaltender

• Brian Boucher

Paul Holmgren, Bob Kelly and Bill Barber are set to coach the team, while Bernie Parent, Dave Schultz, Bill Clement and Reggie Leach will be in attendance.

For fans interested in attending the game, tickets can be purchased right here.

Meanwhile, the current Flyers will also hit the ice Friday for a 6 p.m. practice at Lincoln Financial Field in preparation for Saturday's 8 p.m. game against the Penguins.

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