The Desert Sucks Anyway

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The Flyers started the season with back-to-back road games on the west coast and ended it with an overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes. An extra frustrating loss considering the Flyers dominant overtime play and the comeback hat lead up to it. Not to mention the ridiculous 22minutes of penalties thrown at Jake Voracek for arguing with a ref.

Heat does weird things to people. It impedes our judgment and it makes a lot of people very angry. Even in a hockey rink, the Flyers couldn’t seem to escape the stupid Arizona heat. In the first 10 minutes, they took two too many men penalties and a high sticking that eventually gave the Coyotes an early lead. A lead that shouldn’t have counted, because Steve Mason was clearly interfered with, but the refs decided otherwise.

Luckily, scoring doesn’t seem to be an issue like it has in past seasons. Michael Raffl kept the Flyers in the game with a deflection in the 1st. Claude Giroux danced around a few Arizona players and Wayne Simmonds finished off his rebound, and Matt Read finally found the net to complete a comeback from a two-goal deficit.

The top line looked dominant against a young Arizona team after a concerning performance in L.A. Against the Kings, the line of Michael Raffl, Claude Giroux, and Wayne Simmonds was suffocated by Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin all night long. Against the Coyotes, the top line had a 66.67% Corsi For Percentage and accounted for two of the Flyers three goals.

Two early-season surprises for the Flyers have been Brandon Manning’s strong play and Boyd Gordon. Gordon gave the Flyers a chance to take a lead in the 1st period. After racing into the offensive zone, Gordon managed to bank the puck off of Mike Smith’s back. Thanks to Smith’s black pads and bad camera angles, however, the goal was discounted.

Through the first two games, Gordon has looked much faster than he did in the pre-season. If he can continue making plays to the net like that, Gordon could be a boost to the 4th line.

One of the new Coyotes, and former Flyer, Luke Schenn drew a bit of ire from Philadelphia for constantly targeting youngster Travis Konecny. In the first period, Schenn boarded Konecny well after the play. No call was made because the referees thought is was one of those desert hallucinations, but Schenn wasn’t the only player giving Konecny the business. Goligoski also gave Konecny an elbow to the head behind the Coyotes net.

Overall, the Flyers looked like the team in control the entire game, but missed chances and a late pile of penalty minutes robbed them of the 4th possible point from the weekend.

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