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Flyers Top Line Goes To Town On The Bruins To Win 4 In A Row

Flyers 3, Bruins 2 | (19-15-7)

It looked like it was going to be the most Flyers thing ever. Snap a losing streak, go on a 3-game winning streak after murdering the Islanders 4-0 on Saturday, and then immediately have a 4-day layoff to lose all that momentum, rinse and repeat. That’s just the way it typically works in Flyer-land. Inconsistency at it’s finest. But not this team. Not Dave Hakstol’s Flyers. They knew the 2 points that were up for grabs last night needed to be their’s and they played at least 50 minutes of really really good hockey to make sure they kept the streak rolling. And leading the charge was the Flyers top line of Jake Voracek, Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds.

Hot. Fucking. Damn that was pretty. What you don’t see in the video is Simmonds scrapping in the corner to get the puck loose and the initial breakout pass from Giroux. But what an effort from Simmonds and great work by Voracek know the situation and dish the puck right back to come in as the trailer on that 2-on-1. Voracek had a goal and 2 assists last night. Giroux had an assist on all 3 goals last night. The team only took 21 shots total (which isn’t great but we’ll overlook that because of the win) and those three accounted for 9 of them themselves. And they were on the ice for at least another 5 or so. And they made that 3rd period their bitch.

I mean the passing through the neutral zone was just a thing of beauty last night. Heads are up, quick decision making, none of that bullshit slingshot type of stuff at the blueline. This is exactly what you want to see out of this line. They’re working well together and the 2nd line is producing enough that Hakstol can afford to keep Voracek-Giroux-Simmonds as a thing. Again, 9 shots and 7 points combined from this unit. That’s just sick.

Sean Couturier Quietly Having A Selke Season

There have been a few articles published lately on Sean Couturier and the type of season he’s been having. And it’s actually pretty incredible how well Coots has been able to come into his own through the first half of this season. He has 12 points in his last 11 games despite always being matched up against the opponents’ top line and taking more starts in the defensive zone than anything. He was 57% in defensive zone faceoffs last night and that’s primarily going up against Bergeron who is one of the best in the league. So not only has Coots been putting up some actual numbers through the first half of the season, but he’s also been the best possession player on the roster so far. Again, he gets most of his starts in his own zone and is usually out there matched up against the other team’s top line. Still, however, he almost always wins the possession battle and gets the puck in deep for extended periods of time. If you’re interested in checking out his actual fancy stats, head over to War On Ice to see for yourself. You’ll see that through the first half of the season, Sean Couturier put together a better resume for the Selke trophy than Toews and Bergeron and Datsyuk and anybody else. Whether he’s able to keep that up for the 2nd half of the season… well we’ll see.

Stone Cold Steve Mason

I don’t think that any goalie ever wants to get sniped by Kevan Miller but that was the only knock on Mason’s game all night and there was really nothing he could do about that one. I have 95% confidence in Steve Mason at all times, which is pretty incredible being that Flyers goaltenders have a tendancy to absolutely fucking blow. But Mason has proven time and time again that he’s capable of putting together a big string of saves to give this team a fighting chance. He’s not the top of goalie that will let in that dagger goal when the team is down by 1 and making a strong push to tie the game. He’s no Broduer, he’s no Hasek, he’s no Roy. I’m not going to have 100% confidence in him. But he’s turned into a pretty damn fine goalie and last night was another huge night for him and his confidence.

The Other Guys

– The Del Zotto/Gudas defensive pairing has actually been working out pretty well and I’d like to see that stay the same for the rest of the season. I’ve said this earlier but Del Zotto having zero self-control and always wanting to join the rush forces Gudas to be a little more conservative in his game and that’s the perfect scenario for both of them. MDZ can feel free to do what he wants and Gudas is rarely out of position. I like that shit.

– The 4th line put together a strong game last night (aside from VandeVelde being a complete fucking idiot once or twice). They had a huge possession late in the 3rd period and keep proving to Hakstol that he can trust having them out there at important moments of the game.

– Hopefully we get to see Gostisbehere return to the lineup for Saturday vs the Rangers. I miss having him back there at the point on the powerplay. It’s just not the same without him. But yeah, a few games off to rest up and now I’m shitting my pants if I’m New York.

– Hopefully we get to see Jordan Weal (acquired in that Schenn/Lecavalier trade) make his Flyers debut on Saturday. In a perfect world he slides in the lineup for Umberger. Though with the game that VandeVelde had last night, he could be a scratch as well. Either way, I’d like to see what the kid can do and I’d really love to not have to watch old man Cumberger anymore.

– I couldn’t be happier that Mike Milbury hates the Flyers and Ed Snider and the fans. Milbury is a fucking clown and I immediately disagree with everything that guy says. So it would actually be an issue here if he liked the Flyers. Then we’d be sounding some alarms.

– Has Torey Krug landed from this hit yet?