Flyers

Flyers pick up wild shootout win over Bruins, deliver early statement by sweeping back-to-back road set

Flyers pick up wild shootout win over Bruins, deliver early statement by sweeping back-to-back road set

BOX SCORE

Talk about guts.

This weekend was going to require some serious resolve and the Flyers showed just how different they might be in 2019-20.

Alain Vigneault's team swept a back-to-back road set in Toronto and Boston after picking up another heart-stopping victory, this one a 3-2 shootout decision Sunday night over the Bruins at TD Garden.

Joel Farabee scored the lone tally in the skills competition as the Flyers went to the shootout for the fifth time this season. In 2018-19, the Flyers went to the shootout only four times.

The Flyers (10-5-2) have a season-best four-game winning streak, six-game point streak and are 8-2-1 since Oct. 21. The team's 10 wins through 17 games marks the quickest it has reached double-digit victories in a season since 2011-12, when the Flyers started 10-4-3 and last won a playoff series.

Prior to the loss, the Bruins (11-3-3) were scoring 4.13 goals per game at home and had won seven of their first eight games at TD Garden.

• This was a statement weekend for the Flyers. The Maple Leafs can absolutely blitz teams at home and the Bruins are as scary as any NHL club right now.

For the Flyers to grab early leads, hold off late surges and win two games after regulation on the road like that says a lot.

Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Kevin Hayes went scoreless over the weekend and the Flyers still pulled off the back-to-back wins. That's a major positive.

• Carter Hart was spectacular in turning away Boston late in the third period, when the Bruins were furiously pushing. Boston, with the NHL's best power play, went on the man advantage with 3:20 left but Hart kept it at bay. He also denied David Pastrnak on a penalty shot. Hart stayed focus despite the Bruins erasing the Flyers' 2-0 lead in the final stanza.

The 21-year-old is 3-0-0 in three career games against Boston. He is also 4-0-0 with 104 saves on 112 shots over his last four starts. It's safe to say the kid has his confidence back.

• Pastrnak had not gone scoreless in a home game this season, with 17 points in eight contests at TD Garden.

The Flyers held him scoreless.

• Ever since the season opener in Prague, Czech Republic, there has been no slowing down Travis Konecny.

The 22-year-old dynamo delivered his fourth multi-point game with a goal and an assist. With eight goals and 11 assists, Konecny has more points than Mark Scheifele, Artemi Panarin, Sidney Crosby, Johnny Gaudreau, Mitchell Marner and Patrice Bergeron.

Konecny has scored in 14 of the Flyers' 17 games. It's the most consistent we've seen him as a pro (see story).

 

• Good stuff from the Flyers in the discipline department. 

The Bruins entered with 12 man advantage goals at home, more than what 17 NHL teams had overall on the power play. The Flyers needed to stay out of the penalty box in Boston and, for the most part, they did, committing just two penalties. Over their last three games, the Flyers have allowed the opposition only five power play opportunities.

That's one way to improve your penalty kill — not use it as much.

• The Flyers are starting to jump on teams in the first 20 minutes, which is refreshing considering all the sluggish starts to games that plagued the team in recent years past.

Last season, the Flyers were forced to constantly play from behind. They allowed the NHL's second-most first-period goals (94) and finished with a minus-31 goal differential during the opening stanza.

Over their last four games, the Flyers have outscored the opposition 6-0 in the first period. Setting the tone has helped the Flyers dictate pace and play Vigneault's style.

• Sean Couturier had two assists and was a plus-2 in a tough matchup.

• Philippe Myers has put up three goals in the last three games — all in the first period. His mobility and offense from the blue line have been fun to watch. He also saved a goal in the third period.

What a superb start for the 22-year-old, who has three goals, four points and a plus-7 rating in six games since being called up from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

 

• The Flyers are off Monday and practice Tuesday in Voorhees, New Jersey, before welcoming the Capitals Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN).

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With George Floyd's death and protests across world, Claude Giroux sends powerful message

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USA Today Images/Eric Hartline

With George Floyd's death and protests across world, Claude Giroux sends powerful message

Claude Giroux is the Flyers' captain. He is Philadelphia's longest-tenured active athlete, going back to 2008. And he is a leader.

"It’s cool to see him kind of go from a punk little kid to a father and being a good leader for everyone in that dressing room," Scott Hartnell said, "and for the city of Philadelphia, people look up to him.”

Giroux often shows leadership with his actions. On Wednesday night, he showed it with his words.

Amid the protests in Philadelphia and across the United States following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, Giroux sent out a powerful message from his Twitter account. Floyd was killed in police custody after Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the 46-year-old black man's neck.

The hockey world has rallied together to highlight the issues of racism and racial injustice.

Giroux, organically and authentically, added to the important cause. If you read the statement and feel the meaning of it, props to the 32-year-old Giroux for taking the time to digest everything, comprehend all that has transpired and formulate an impactful message.

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2020 NHL draft profile: Why Jan Mysak is so intriguing

2020 NHL draft profile: Why Jan Mysak is so intriguing

The entire picture for the 2020 NHL draft remains cloudy with the ongoing suspension of the 2019-20 regular season because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Where will the Flyers be picking? When and how will the draft be held? Those questions are currently unanswered.

The Flyers hold seven total selections and, as of right now, are slotted with the 26th overall pick.

“I think it’s a decent draft — I don’t know if it’s top end," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said April 25 in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "The top 10, 12 guys look like pretty high end. There’s a bit of a drop-off, but there’s some depth to the draft for a couple of rounds. We don’t know totally where we’re picking, but we have an idea. We have some guys targeted we feel we would be very happy with in the top couple of rounds and then we still have some work to do to clean up the mid-to-later-round picks.

"Obviously you’d want the big, scoring, playmaking center, anybody does. We’re in a position where we’ll likely be taking the best player available. 

"Realistically the players you draft now are two or three years down the road, best-case scenario. Some cases you get surprised. But by then, your team needs are different. We’ll do the best we can, we have an idea of where our holes are going forward and places where we certainly want to add depth to, whether it’s center or scoring winger or defense, we’ll see what happens. We’ll prepare, we weigh guys against each other, the pros and cons and we’ll do the best we can there.”

This month, we'll continue to break down options for the Flyers at No. 26.

Jan Mysak

Position: Center/winger
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 175
Shoots: Left
Team: Hamilton Bulldogs

Scouting report

There is a ton of intrigue to Mysak, an underager with innate scoring ability and a precocious hockey IQ.

After scoring nine points (five goals, four assists) through 26 games playing against grown men for the Czech Extraliga's HC Litvinov, the 17-year-old transitioned to the OHL and punctuated his draft year. Mysak took off with Hamilton, delivering a pair of hat tricks and 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists) in 22 games. The Czech Republic native played a much bigger role at the junior level, especially with the Bulldogs losing center Jan Jenik to a season-ending injury in December.

Mysak understands the art of scoring. He might not be the flashiest or smoothest, but he's strong, quick and knows how to dissect the opposition. He can also play down the middle and on the wing, versatility that attracts NHL teams in the first round.

“Anybody that can play center is good," Flahr said about Mysak on May 12.

“He had the reputation coming into the year. He played with men the first half, I saw him a number of times over there early. Just like any young player playing with men, he played and worked and did the little things, but wasn’t overly productive, just kind of played safe and played a role. Then midseason, he came over.

"The way it worked with Jenik going down to injury, he stepped right in on the top line and produced right off the bat. He played center when I saw him and he’s played wing overseas when I saw him, but real hard-working, honest, two-way game. You can argue whether he’s more of a shooter or a playmaker, but he’s got some rawness. I think coming over was real good for him.”

Fit with Flyers

The Flyers very well could be eyeing the best center available during the first round after selecting three defensemen, three wingers and a goalie last summer. It's a premium position and every organization is looking for greater depth down the middle. The fact that Mysak can player center and winger is a bonus.

So, will he be available for the Flyers? It's difficult to say.

He's the NHL Central Scouting's 28th-ranked North American skater and TSN's Craig Button rates him as the 34th-best player in the draft. However, in an excellent film review, The Athletic's Scott Wheeler sees Mysak as one of the top forwards among this class.

Some teams might want to see more from Mysak. Some teams might be completely sold.

If the Flyers end up picking at No. 26 overall and Mysak is available, he'd be hard to pass up.

(Brandon Taylor/ProAm Images)

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