Brayden Schenn

Flyers fans, root for Craig Berube's Blues in Stanley Cup Final and please don't debate the Brayden Schenn trade

Flyers fans, root for Craig Berube's Blues in Stanley Cup Final and please don't debate the Brayden Schenn trade

The 2019 Stanley Cup Final begins Monday night and of course there are some Flyers ties.

Seems only fitting, right?

Two of those ties are Blues head coach Craig Berube and forward Brayden Schenn.

In Philly, we're not too fond of people who once played or coached here and then do well elsewhere. It's just natural. Remember when some fans huffed and puffed about the curtain calls for Chase Utley in his August 2016 return, which featured a grand slam and solo shot for No. 26?

What are you doing?! He's one of them now!

For the orange and black faithful, it can be difficult to watch a former Flyer succeed elsewhere. It might make you wonder why that success couldn't be achieved in Philadelphia, where a Cup hasn't been hoisted by the Flyers since 1975.

But if Flyers fans need to take a rooting interest in this Cup Final between the Blues and Bruins, the decision is simple: Berube's bunch.

Is there any genuine reason to have a strong distaste for Berube? He took over for Peter Laviolette, who was fired three games into the 2013-14 season. Berube led the Flyers to the playoffs that season, which ended in a first-round exit via a Game 7 loss at Madison Square Garden. Then, following one down season, he was fired as former general manager Ron Hextall put his stamp on the team by hiring Dave Hakstol.

Berube played parts of seven years in Philadelphia. He was a tough dude (still is) and Philly will always have an affinity for tough dudes.

The Blues' goal song also has Philly origins (watch the video above) and does anybody want to see Boston win? St. Louis' run has been special. Under Berube, who took over Nov. 19 as interim head coach, the Blues have gone from the NHL's basement in early January to the Stanley Cup Final. This is their 51st season and they've never won a Cup. Why not get behind that?

And, most notably, let's not get worked up over Schenn by revisiting the June 2017 trade just because he's in the Cup Final. The 27-year-old is a good player. He scored a lot of power-play goals with the Flyers. But how much better would he have made the Flyers over these last two seasons? Does he make them a contender?

Schenn complemented talent and played a prominent role on a team not there yet. Hextall capitalized on Schenn's stock with a pretty darn good trade, acquiring two first-round draft picks (and, yes, Jori Lehtera — a throw-in by the Blues).

Those draft picks were used to select Morgan Frost (2017 — 27th overall) and Joel Farabee (2018 — 14th overall), two talented forwards turning pro in 2019-20.

Prospects are prospects until they prove themselves in the NHL, but these two look promising.

Meanwhile, this season, the Flyers got comparable goal production to Schenn's from 22-year-old rookie Oskar Lindblom.

Here's a look at the stat lines:

Schenn: 72 games, 17 goals, 37 assists, 54 points, 18:35 TOI

Lindblom: 81 games, 17 goals, 16 assists, 33 points, 13:45 TOI

If Schenn wins the Cup with the Blues, he deserves it. He's certainly helped them in two seasons. But the trade was made with the big picture in mind and nobody should lose sight of that.

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Blues 3, Flyers 0: Flyers can't back another strong Carter Hart performance, drop 7th straight

Blues 3, Flyers 0: Flyers can't back another strong Carter Hart performance, drop 7th straight

BOX SCORE

The Flyers can’t be feeling the blues any more than this.

On Monday they were shut out by a rookie netminder making his first career NHL start as the Blues blanked the Flyers, 3-0, at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers have now lost seven straight games. 

Why couldn’t the Flyers make life tougher for Jordan Binnington? Is Vladimir Tarasenko someone the Flyers should target this summer in a trade? 

Here are my observations from the game:   

• The ineptitude of the Flyers’ offense was on full display. The second period may have been the most unchallenging for an opposing goaltender this season as the Flyers generated just six shots on net, all from the outside. Binnington was challenged a few times in the opening period and was susceptible to some big rebounds, but the Flyers couldn’t jump on those loose pucks.

• When you have only one line exert any sustained effort and pressure in the offensive zone, you become a very easy team to play against. The Sean Couturier-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny combination was the only Flyers line that consistently created scoring chances. I was surprised interim head coach Scott Gordon didn’t attempt to shake up his lines to find any sort of pulse.

• The Flyers didn’t stray too much in the defensive end of the ice and their containment against the Blues forwards was rather effective for much of the game. The Brayden Schenn line with Jaden Schwartz and Tarasenko was their most efficient with a clear advantage in puck possession, mostly over the Couturier line. 

• The Flyers could have been staring down a 2-0 deficit in the first period if it wasn’t for one of Carter Hart’s best saves of the season so far with a blocker stop on Schwartz.  

• There’s been a lot of smoke surrounding Tarasenko with the possibility that the St. Louis organization could be looking to move him in the offseason. Keeping a close eye on Tarasenko, he was certainly buzzing in the offensive zone but he didn’t have that tenacious drive to the net that he has been known for in the past. Secondly, I thought he passed up on some prime shooting opportunities. However, I still see a dangerous player that has incredible vision and playmaking ability with a terrific snap shot. Proof of that came on his goal with nine minutes remaining in the third period.

• Does Gordon try to move Nolan Patrick to wing in an effort to find anything to get him going once again? Gordon has mentioned that Patrick is maintaining his defensive responsibilities, but he doesn’t have the pace in his game to transition from the defensive end to the offensive side. I still see a lack of confidence as he passed up on a prime scoring opportunity between the circles, electing to pass, which didn’t lead to a shot on net.  

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More on the Flyers

Brayden Schenn nets 20th goal as Blues cruise

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Brayden Schenn nets 20th goal as Blues cruise

ST. LOUIS -- Carter Hutton made 25 saves for his 10th career shutout and the St. Louis Blues got goals from Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko in a 3-0 victory over the struggling Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Brayden Schenn, who also had an assist, added an empty-net goal at 17:34 of the third period. It was his 20th goal of the season.

The game was a bounce-back effort for Hutton, pulled after giving up three goals on 12 shots in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Arizona.

Hutton, normally the Blues' backup, started for the fourth consecutive game and eighth in the last 10. He earned his second shutout this season (see full recap).

Lightning top Preds before visiting Flyers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Down a goal late in the third period in the second game of a back-to-back, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to captain Steven Stamkos and he got the tying score. Yanni Gourde then came through in overtime.

Gourde scored 1:45 into the extra period to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Chris Kunitz had a goal and two assists, and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored as the Lightning won their second straight. Louis Domingue stopped 30 shots.

"It was all about our compete," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "It was about nothing else but our compete. They are a hell of a team over there. They just keep coming at you,” (see full recap).

Dea scores 1st NHL goal, Pens beat Hurricanes
PITTSBURGH -- Not much more than a month ago, Dominik Simon, Jean-Sebastien Dea and Casey DeSmith were playing minor league hockey in Wilkes-Barre for the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fast forward to Tuesday night, when that unlikely trio carried Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions to an important win.

Simon and Dea scored 76 seconds apart in the second period, and DeSmith made 34 saves for the Penguins in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

"They've been huge," Jake Geunztel said of his rookie teammates. "They're playing really well, and they have that excitement to be here. We have all been there -- and to see that, it's cool to be around, for sure,” (see full recap).

Eichel's 4 points lead Sabres to win over Oilers
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Jack Eichel had a goal and three assists, Ryan O'Reilly scored twice and the Buffalo Sabres earned an easy 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Sam Reinhart had a goal and two assists and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for the last-place Sabres (13-26-9), who won their second game in a row for just the second time this season. The other time was in late October.

Robin Lehner made 33 saves for his second shutout of the season.

Cam Talbot started in net and stopped 18 of 22 shots in 31:32 of work before Al Montoya turned aside 11 of 12 in relief for the Oilers (21-24-3), who had a three-game winning streak snapped (see full recap).