Last Sunday, the sky was falling. The Flyers were utterly embarrassed one day after their head coach called publicly called them out.
It was hard to see the light and emotion got the better of all of us. The Flyers went out West and rediscovered their way. Sound familiar? The same thing happened last season after their losing streak reached 10 games. Some observations from the week that was:
• Let's begin with Saturday night's 4-3 overtime loss in San Jose because the wound remains fresh and it still very much has an impact on how this road trip finishes out.
The Flyers' OTL loss hurts. Sure, we can fall back on the "they got a point" narrative, and against a Sharks team that is expected to compete for a Stanley Cup and smoked the Flyers last month in Philly, we'll take it.
But the Flyers had three leads in San Jose on Saturday and left with a loss. That's not an easy pill to swallow. With one more game left on this West Coast trip, Monday night in Arizona, this loss has the potential to knock the train back off the rails.
We're going to find out a lot about this team's backbone, which last Saturday, after the Islanders loss, was non-existent. They fought hard this week and did a lot of really good things in California, but Saturday's loss is a painful one.
• Nolan Patrick found the burst that we haven't seen from him this season this week with an explosive three games in California with five points in three games.
Patrick scored the game-winner in Anaheim with a shot he described as "one of the worst shots I’ve ever taken" by going to a scoring area and finishing.
Nolan Patrick CAME THROUGH 😤 pic.twitter.com/fNGuminWXa— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 31, 2018
After a two-assist game in Los Angeles Thursday night, Patrick scored his second goal of the week just 37 seconds into Saturday's game in San Jose.
NOLAN IS WASTING NO TIME— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 4, 2018
He scores 37 seconds into the game to give the Flyers the 1-0 lead. pic.twitter.com/2XoEXAcs7G
The Flyers were banking on Patrick to take the next step in his development after an injury-free summer, but we haven't really seen the same jump we saw in the second half of last season from him.
That changed out West as Patrick began clicking with Oskar Lindblom and Jakub Voracek. With James van Riemsdyk nearing a return, Dave Hakstol is going to have an interesting decision to make with his top six.
• Speaking of Lindblom, man, can this dude flat-out make plays behind the net, an area the Flyers desperately need to create offense from.
Lindblom too had a monster week — five points — recording his first career multi-point game Thursday and following it up with another Saturday.
There was a common denominator on his four assists last week: He set up shop behind the net for most of them. Check out his vision from behind the red line on Voracek's goal:
Lindblom ➡️ Voracek— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 4, 2018
Perfection 🔥 pic.twitter.com/1d1hET4K8Y
The advanced metrics are encouraging and we're finally seeing some of that translate into point production. I really like how Lindblom and Patrick work together.
• Another big positive from this week was the play of the team's third line of Wayne Simmonds, Jordan Weal and Dale Weise in the past two games.
It's kind of a weird trio … but it's working. There was one shift, in particular, that really stood out to me. It was just before Claude Giroux' goal in the third period.
With the Flyers up 3-2, the trio went to work with relentless forecheck and puck possession in the Kings' zone. They killed time and wore down the L.A. defense and shortly after, Giroux potted his goal.
In the last two games, Simmonds, Weal and Weise have combined for two goals and four assists. Not bad production from a line that features a player who was waived before the season (Weise) and another who was a healthy scratch earlier (Weal).
• I didn't think Ivan Provorov had a slow start to the season. In fact, I thought he was poor. He was making costly and out-of-character mistakes. But he was the one player on this team I wasn't worried about.
This week proved that (see story). Provorov has a three-game point streak with two goals and an assist on this trip, but that's not what impressed me most.
Provorov was calm and collected and logged big minutes. It was the first time this season we saw that version of Provorov, and it's an encouraging sign as we move on. Provorov is back.
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