After suffering a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday, the Flyers’ win streak ended at 10. It was their longest winning streak since 1985 when they rattled off 13 consecutive wins. The Flyers outscored their opponents during this most recent win streak 36-22.
Now, I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer but I combed over some data during this win streak, and the even-strength data was not good. Of 21 Flyers players that saw the ice during those ten games, only seven of them had a Corsi For % above 50, and go figure, one of those players will be a healthy scratch tonight.
— OwnersBox NHL (@OwnersBoxNHL) December 19, 2016
I also went ahead and scraped some more data that showed the struggle the Flyers had at even-strength.
CF% – 48.04
Corsi Differential – (-)34.15
SCF% – 44.99
xGF60 – 1.96
xGA60 – 2.41
— A$AP Flyera (@BCanneyBSB) December 19, 2016
Considering that the Flyers have been missing Sean Couturier because of injury and Andrew MacDonald has been seeing the ice due to Streit’s injury, these stats weren’t alarming. I did still expect to see the Flyers produce better 5v5 numbers purely based on the length of this win streak but alas, the Flyers found other ways to win games.
What propelled the Flyers during this streak was the strength of their power play unit, their goaltending, and not taking penalties.
The Flyers were able to convert on 20% of their opportunities on the power play. Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds both led the Flyers with 3 goals a piece while Jakub Voracek paced the team with 7 total points with the man advantage. When the 1st power play unit is doing that kind of heavy lifting, it can help mask the issues the Flyers have at even-strength.
Oh my god Mason. pic.twitter.com/9FdXbEVXBh
— A$AP Flyera (@BCanneyBSB) November 30, 2016
The stat that stood out to me during my research was the team’s penalty differential. They were +21. That’s a significant number given the Flyers propensity for visiting the sin bin. In four of the last five seasons, the Philadelphia Flyers have placed 5th or higher in penalty minutes. And, even though the Flyers have been good on the penalty kill this season, limiting the amount of time the opponents have a man-advantage is, of course, a good thing.
Now, even though I laid out some of the failings the Flyers had, there were some other positives in addition to the ones above. The Flyers big three of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Wayne Simmonds, all played spectacular during this stretch, combining for 38 points. It also seemed like Brayden Schenn had finally found his game after a lackluster beginning to the season.
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