Flyers Notebook: Despite Mini-Skid, Torts Likes What He Sees
After an impressive 8-2 run, the Philadelphia Flyers were headed in the right direction as the All-Star break approached.
But they have since faded a bit, losing three of their last four, a skid started by a 4-1 defeat to lowly Chicago.
They will be underdogs in their next two games — road contests against Minnesota (Thursday) and Winnipeg (Saturday). The Flyers need to win at least one of those games to feel good about themselves going into the All-Star break.
John Tortorella, the frequently grumpy Flyers coach, likes the team’s direction. He was actually in a good mood (!) after Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime defeat to Los Angeles, which came on the heels of a 5-3 loss to Winnipeg two nights earlier.
“It’s all positive for me,” Tortorella said after the loss to the Kings. “It sucks we don’t get that point, but the past two games, there’s so many good things that have gone on with this team. I like a lot of things about a lot of our players and within the team itself.”
Tortorella, whose team has gotten contributions from several young and up-and-coming players, says he likes how “they’ve handled themselves and are not losing themselves because things aren’t going their way at certain times.
“I think we’ve grabbed momentum back.”
That will be needed in their next two games because Minnesota (25-17-4) and Winnipeg (31-17-1) are teams that usually seize the momentum, especially at home.
At home, Minny is 13-8-1, and the Jets are 17-6.
The Philadelphia Flyers have actually been better on the road (10-9-6) than at home (10-12-2) , another indication that the young players are making solid strides in their development.
- The Flyers’ penalty kill is 11 for 12 over the last four games.
- Ivan Provorov is 11th on the Flyers’ all-time assist list among defensemen. He is two away from tying Jimmy Watson (148 assists) for 10th. Watson is in the Flyers’ Hall of Fame.
- Wade Allison has six points (3-3) over the last nine games. Among NHL rookies, he is tied for first in goals and tied for third in points in that span.
- The Flyers have used the same four lines over the last 16 games. They are 9-6-1 in that span.
- Owen Tippett has 10 points (3-7) over his last 14 games.
- Kevin Hayes is surging into his All-Star appearance. The left winger has 14 points (6-8) over his last 12 games.
- Nick Seeler had a career-high seven hits Tuesday. The underrated defenseman has 74 hits this season, four shy of his career high.
- Because of the All-Star break, the Philadelphia Flyers’ next home practice isn’t until Sunday, Feb. 5 in Voorhees.