Flyers Plus/Minus: Six in a Row

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Photo by Heather Barry

By, Anthony Maiorana(@Philly_Sauce)

It’s a good week to be a Flyers fan. After weak goaltending and defensive breakdowns cost the Flyers games over the opening stretch of the season, the Goaltending has hit a resurgence. The Flyers have finally started to look like the team we expected to get at the beginning of the season and are on a six-game winning streak.

A lot of good things lately….maybe some bad stuff too.

Plus:

Stone Cold: Steve Mason seems to do a lot better when there’s absolutely no question as to who owns the starting position. “I don’t think it’s any goaltender’s goal to play in a tandem.” Mason said to reporters when asked about his hot streak. Being the solid No. 1 has “absolutely” helped get him back on track.

Recently Mason was named the NHL’s first star of the week after helping the Flyers to four straight wins. Over the streak, Mason has allowed 2 goals or fewer and bounced back to a .943 save percentage over those games. Against the Panthers, Steve Mason faced 44 shots and saved 42 of them. The Flyers were outshout 44-25 and were outplayed through the 1st, 3rd and some of the 2nd periods.

Keep on Chuggin’: Wayne Simmonds is a dominant player. You won’t hear a lot about him outside of Philadelphia, but currently, he’s tied with the Bruins David Pastrnak in goals this season with 15. Simmonds scored both of the Flyers regulation goals giving them enough to push an overtime. He’s had two straight two-goal games.

Simmonds is 9th in points in the NHL and is tied for 3rd with David Pastrnak. And Flyers fans need to start leading the push to get the Wayne Train into the All-Star game.

Minus:

Call up for Nothing: Matt Read will be out for up to four weeks with an upper-body injury. With Read out, the Flyers pulled Taylor Leier out of the AHL for a stint with the Flyers. The 22-year old has been impressive with the Phantoms scoring 20 points in 22 games and could show his potential to join the Flyers next season. That is if he ever gets any substantial playing time.

Leier got a lowly 5:23 of ice time against the Panthers while coach Dave Hakstol elected to play the fourth line of Chris VandeVelde, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Roman Lyubimov for a large portion of the game.

Weak Game: Yes the Flyers won, but just barely. Against a team on the tail end of a back-to-back, the Flyers looked much more exhausted. If it weren’t for Steve Mason, the Flyers would have lost that game like they deserved to.

“I think Florida played an outstanding game,” Voracek said. “They may have deserved better, but there were so many times this year that we outplayed teams and lost the game. – Philly.com

 

Intangibles:

All of Philadelphia will be celebrating Flyers wins or mourning Flyers losses with a specially appropriate beer. Introducing the Ghost Bear golden ale which may or may not be named after the Flyers defenseman, but for licensing purposes (i guess) is not.

A representative for Gostisbehere put out a statement quickly following the release of the orange and black beer:  “Shayne Gostisbehere has not endorsed, authorized nor is he affiliated with the beer product. It has been created without his knowledge or permission.”

Which is weird because his name isn’t actually ghostbear and as far as we know doesn’t have a copyright on his nickname.

 

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