Photo by Amy Irvin/38 Photography
After getting news before the game that the mandatory 3 on 3 overtime would be cancelled due to the impending Papal visit to Philadelphia, the Flyers beat down a ‘B’ Islanders squad by the score of 5 to 2.
The first period was a very sloppy one that you could say was Typical Preseason Hockey™. After falling behind early, the Flyers tied the game on a boring Chris Porter goal and then took the lead on a SUPER AWESOME SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE LASER BEAM.
The middle stanza was generally a much smoother one for the Flyers, as a beautiful goal from Brayden Schenn helped them emerge with a 4-2 lead. The penalty kill spent a healthy amount of time on the ice, locking things down to maintain the two goal lead.
The Flyers notched the lone goal in a chippier third period on a Matt Read power play rebound. Something something preseason, something something small sample, but that power play is going to be lethal this year. Let’s get to some thoughts and observations.
- -The Flyers were sloppy in both the defensive and neutral zones to start the game, but settled down fairly well as it went on.
- -My god, the shot on Shayne Gostisbehere is just absolutely ridiculous. I am going to have dreams about it tonight. He’s definitely still got some fine turning to do, especially in the defensive zone, as he occasionally looks a bit unsure with the puck back there. That said, he is really making a strong case to start the season in Philadelphia. It’s still probable that he goes back, but he’s going to create a difficult decision for Dave Hakstol. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this will be a heavily-discussed topic over the next few days.
- -Michael Del Zotto did not have a great first period. He struggled mightily in the defensive zone and got a bit turned around on the Isles’ first goal. Then again, it’s to be expected that a player like MDZ will have periods like that.
- -The first line of Claude Giroux, Michael Raffl and Jakub Voracek looked off in the first, but they shook that pretty quickly. The trio fell right back into their old rhythm in the second period, scoring a goal and creating numerous chances.
- -Radko Gudas loves to throw his weight around. Flyers fans are going to enjoy him.
- -It seems pretty clear that Yevgeny Medvedev is going to have a positive impact at 5v5. That said, it also looks like he will be a strong addition both the power play and the penalty kill. He reads plays extremely well and maintains composure beautifully with the puck on his stick.
- -In evaluating a game against a split-squad opponent like this, it’s obviously important to keep in mind that most of the strongest Islanders took the ice against New Jersey tonight, leaving several AHLers on the ice in Philadelphia. I am contractually obligated to say something about that in here. So there it is.