How Flyers plan on solving Sergei Bobrovsky

AP Images

How Flyers plan on solving Sergei Bobrovsky

One Flyers employee who has seen hundreds of players come and go has a short list of two of the hardest working athletes they've witnessed off the ice: Ivan Provorov and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Provorov’s offseason regimen has been well documented, but word is, Bobrovsky would be riding the bike or working out well after all the lights to the facility had been turned off.

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner didn’t just stumble into greatness, but unfortunately, it now comes at the expense of the Flyers, who infamously traded him to Columbus a season after backing up Ilya Bryzgalov. Claude Giroux was one of the few Flyers who remembers what it was like to battle Bobrovsky over the course of a season.

“Just in practice when he was here, he battled every shot,” Giroux said. “It was fun to have practice with goalies like that. They just won’t let any pucks go in, even with rebounds when the play was over. He made it a lot of fun. I’m not surprised how good he’s playing because his work ethic is really good.”

Take that talent and work ethic and add an extra five percent of incentive — motivation against the organization that elected to go in a different direction — and you have a stellar 9-3-1 record, 1.82 goals-against average with a .935 save percentage in 13 starts against the Flyers.

“I think we’ve played good games against them,” Giroux said. “Bobrovsky has been pretty solid all those games. For us to beat him, we’ve got to find ways to get pucks to the net, get rebounds. If he sees the puck, he’s going to stop it. We’ve got to have a lot of traffic in there.”

Sixteen different Flyers have scored goals against Bobrovsky, and you can count the number of players who've beaten him twice on one hand. Impressively, the one player who had the greatest amount of success against Bobrovsky is no longer here. Brayden Schenn scored six goals against big, bad Bob.

Dave Hakstol has a different sense of history, one that has seen the Flyers' last three games against the Blue Jackets result in a 2-1 game, with the Flyers winning two of those matchups.

“You stay with the game, whatever the game is," Hakstol said. "You look at the history of these 2-1 games against Columbus, it’s going to be a tight, close game. Our guys have full understanding of that.”

To compound the challenge facing the Flyers, scoring hasn’t been a strength of theirs recently, as they’ve scored two or fewer goals in seven of their last eight games.

“I think that’s one thing we can do a little bit better is keep pucks in the scoring area a little bit more,” Hakstol said. “In saying that, I think in the last 10 games, we’ve been outshot once. I think you’ve got to factor everything in and not overreact to anything.”

Flyers leading scorer Sean Couturier beat Bobrovsky for an overtime winner on Feb. 16, and he hasn’t scored since. 

For Couturier and the rest of his teammates, nothing would be prettier than the ugliest of goals and wins against Bobrovsky right now.

Flyers brought back to earth by Coyotes, suffer a first since Oct. 19

Flyers brought back to earth by Coyotes, suffer a first since Oct. 19


Despite putting up 21 goals over their five-game winning streak, the Flyers had a propensity to score them in bunches when an opponent started derailing.

On Thursday night, the Flyers never got going and were pulled back to earth in a 3-1 loss to the Coyotes at the Wells Fargo Center.

Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper was the biggest difference. The 6-foot-5 netminder who brought an NHL-best 1.97 goals-against average and .936 save percentage to Philly stopped 28 shots.

With 4:43 left, Matt Niskanen scored the Flyers' lone goal and it ricocheted off a Coyote. Arizona iced the game with an empty-netter (see highlights).

The Flyers (16-8-5) suffered just their second regulation loss at home (9-2-4). The last time they failed to pick up a point at home was Oct. 19 when they lost to the Stars, 4-1.

Thursday night's defeat halted the Flyers' winning streak at five games and their point streak at seven. The Flyers had earned at least a point in 18 of their previous 22 games.

The Coyotes (17-9-4), who were allowing the NHL's second-fewest goals per game at 2.31, improved to 10-3-3 on the road.

• The Flyers went on two power plays in the final six minutes of the second period but could not solve Kuemper.

During those two man advantage opportunities, the Flyers put five shots on Kuemper and also misfired three times.

James van Riemsdyk found Morgan Frost with a slick backhanded pass from behind the net but the 20-year-old missed wide.

• Speaking of Frost, he had a tough game. The rookie had a turnover and some difficulty making plays.

He has gone scoreless over his last seven games following his loud start in which he scored three points in his first two games.

Maybe head coach Alain Vigneault takes him off the first line to relieve some pressure.

"Young player, in my estimation, has got a lot of confidence in himself, which is real good," Vigneault said postgame. "Tonight, there were a couple of plays with the puck, like some of our other guys, that the execution might have been a little bit off. But I think overall, the young man is working hard and trying to get better."

Will he stay on the top line?

"I'm going to watch the game and make [changes], if I have some changes to make, [Friday]," Vigneault said. "I like what the young man can bring to the game."

• Vigneault opted to play seven defensemen instead of slotting call-up Mikhail Vorobyev in at fourth-line center.

It's not a bad approach when you have seven healthy blueliners playing well. It also could mean the Flyers aren't ready to trust Vorobyev on the fourth line again.

The Senators game on Saturday looks like a better matchup for Vorobyev, who is in his fifth stint with the club since the start of last season.

• Brian Elliott hadn't lost in regulation since Oct. 29. The Flyers' backup goalie finished with 15 saves.

He allowed a first-period power play goal to Phil Kessel after Claude Giroux was whistled for a ticky-tacky slashing penalty. He then yielded a backbreaking third-period goal to Conor Garland with 7:03 left in the game.

The goalie was not the problem, though.

Sean Couturier was not a problem, either.

• The Flyers wrap up their three-game homestand Saturday when they welcome the Senators (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Next week, the team opens a three-game road trip, which features matchups with the Avalanche on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN), the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Jets on Sunday (5 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).


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

'Tis the season for ... Jawnaments? Jawnaments!

'Tis the season for ... Jawnaments? Jawnaments!

If you live in Philadelphia or the surrounding area, it's safe to say there's at least one ornament on your tree representing the city — whether it be a memento from a previous championship Philly has seen, famous landmarks or even the skyline, you're repping one way or another.

Throw everything you thought you knew about Philly ornaments out the window and make way for Jawnaments ... yes, you read that correctly.

Jawnaments. I swear, there is no place like Philadelphia.

Jawnaments is an Etsy shop that has been around since 2017 but they recently released a ton of non-traditional Philadelphia-inspired ornaments. And they're a thing of beauty.

Can you only function throughout the week because of the daily coffee you grab at Wawa and want to highlight that on your tree this year? They've got you covered.

Haven't received a parking ticket in the city in a while and just miss the stress and anxiety they bring with them? Yup, they've got that covered too.

The Tastykake Krimpet and Kandy Kake ornaments look good enough to eat ... even a classic soft pretzel with yellow mustard is an option.

And since Gritty is just about everywhere in the world ... it he. On an ornament. Oh sorry, *Jawnament.

Trust me, there are a ton of other options but you're just going to have to check out the full shop to see the beauty of it all.

You might even have to get a mini tree that's dedicated to the city you know and love. Heck, keep it up all year!

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