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Analysis: Flyers lose to Predators 6-5

[Photo: Andrew Nelles/Tennesseean.com]

Predators Goals

  • Craig Smith (1) (Power Play), assists: Kevin Fiala, Mattias Ekholm
  • Scott Hartnell (2), assist: Pontis Aberg
  • Nick Bonino (1), assists: Mattias Ekholm, P.K. Subban
  • Filip Forsberg (2), assists: Ryan Johansen, Samuel Girard
  • Scott Hartnell (3) (Power Play), assists: Filip Forsberg, P.K. Subban
  • Filip Forsberg (3) (Power Play), assists: P.K. Subban, Kevin Fiala

Flyers Goals

  • Andrew MacDonald (1), assists: Scott Laughton, Taylor Leier
  • Nolan Patrick (1), assist: Dale Weise
  • Valterri Filppula (1) (Power Play), assists: Jake Voracek, Shayne Gostisbere
  • Travis Konecny (1), assists: Jordan Weal, Shayne Gostisbehere
  • Valterri Filppula (2) (Power Play), assists: Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek

Oh man, this game. There were so many ups, and so, so many downs leading to the final two minutes of that game. All they needed was one point… I’ll get to the source of my complete and utter frustration in a minute, because it deserves its own segment. Let’s go over five OTHER takeaways from this one.

5 Takeaways from Flyers vs Predators (Other than the Obvious)

  • Nolan Patrick scored his first official goal of his NHL career! More people should be excited about it. Of course it’s going to get a bit overshadowed considering how the end of the game went, but in his fourth game of the season, Nolan Patrick was able to push the rebound past Pekka Rinne off a Dale Weise shot attempt. This is the first of many for Nolan Patrick and I cannot wait to see him score at a home game. Nolan Patrick is good man.
  • This road trip has shown us a lot about the Flyers and one major thing is their speed. Compared to last year’s squad, the 1st through 4th lines are a lot speedier, and are pushing the puck up the ice at a much faster rate. It is definitely noticed on the 4th line with Michael Raffl, Scott Laughton, and Taylor Leier, who I feel like I’m still writing about. They’re a speedy, shot generating group who I actually like seeing play. It’s not about a weak line anymore because there are solid players on all four lines. The 3rd line produced really well as well.
  • I am still shaky about the Flyers goaltenders. This one was a lot rougher for Elliott as he let in six goals. Granted, two out of the six should not have happened. But still six goals is a lot of goals to let in; he looked shaky for a majority of the night and just a little bit nervous. I’ll give Elliott credit though, he made some big saves in the 1st period that made the game still in reach after the 1st. I’m sure Elliott will be getting the nod on Saturday in the home opener, but if Elliott performs anything like he did vs the Predators on Saturday, Flyers fans are not gonna be happy.
  • No matter what team he plays for, Scott Hartnell is still an incredibly dynamic player. He was aggressive, and a great shot taker and generator last season in Columbus, and he seems to be even better in Nashville.
  • The fact that the Flyers were able to comeback from a 3-0 deficit early in the 2nd period and tie the game at three is impressive, being able to take the lead and almost… almost hold on to it is even better. This team is a team that looks like it is not giving up without a fight this season. As much as Flyers fans wanted to see the end of the road trip have a 3-1 record, 2-2 is not bad.

Let’s Talk About the Final Two Minutes

Let me take a quick few breaths here beforehand… alright… let’s dive in. It started with the Dale Weise penalty where he was called for holding in the offensive zone, so the Predators were about to go on a crucial power play down one goal. Not great.

Then in the defensive zone, Andrew MacDonald is called for tripping a Predators player after he takes a shot. Flyers are now down two men, up one goal, and have to deal with a very good Predators power play, one that had already scored in the game earlier. They also had the chance to pull their goaltender to make it 6-on-3, which they did.

The Flyers, in the beginning, did a great job including, a clear from Sean Couturier on the PK. But numbers don’t lie; Predators score the tying goal via Scott Hartnell, his 2nd of the game. Flyers would gain a man back and would have to fight off the remaining time on the power play down 6-4, which gave the Flyers a chance to salve a point and send the game into overtime and have a chance to win the game in OT, much like they did on Saturday vs the Ducks.

BUT… BUT Dave Hakstol decides to challenge the play, very confident that Scott Hartnell was offsides before the puck went into the offensive zone. When you look at the replays, there is a possibility that he is right. I actually thought he was right, and Hartnell was offsides the first time I looked at the replay.

HOWEVER, this is not a challenge or a risk that you make in the last few minutes of the game, ESPECIALLY with a new challenge rule in place saying that if you LOSE the challenge, your team will serve ANOTHER penalty for delaying the game. And the refs ruled it a good goal, the Flyers lost another man and the Predators scored the game winner.

It was just an incredibly poor decision that was made by Hakstol. Regardless of how confident you were that the goal should be called back due to being offsides, Hakstol should have trusted his penalty killers to get them through the last few minutes of the game and send it into overtime. If they had lost, well then that’s on the players. But this, this is all on Hakstol.

Star of the Game

I’m gonna go with Valterri Filppula. Filp scored twice on the power play, including the game-tying goal in the 2nd period. He looked smooth and in control heading that 2nd line and taking his turn on the power play unit. He is not Brayden Schenn (who scored again by the way), but he will be a solid replacement.

Flub of The Game (Other than the Obvious)

Scott Hartnell’s 1st goal of the game. It was just a weak save attempt from Elliott and just about nothing from MacDonald. Both of them redeemed themselves though.

 

The Flyers are going to play at home! Get excited Flyers fans, we have hockey back in South Philly. I know I’m excited. See you on Saturday!