Flyers lose to Hurricanes. It seems like every time I write one of these it starts with “the Flyers lose.” This team is actually better than my timing, but they certainly didn’t look like it last night. Untimely mistakes were the name of the game, highlighted by Claude Giroux’s ugly turnover that led to Carolina’s second goal. The Flyers were hurt by a few questionable non-calls, especially the high sticking against Brandon Manning seconds before Jeff Skinner scored the third goal of the night. It seems to be a running theme for the past few weeks: Count the number of blown calls against the Flyers. But despite the bad calls, this team isn’t playing like a team that wants to win. Mason made 23 saves on 28 shots. It was not his best night, but the rest of the team left him out to dry way too many times to actually give them a chance.
Schenn scores 100th. The lone bright spot in last night’s game was Brayden Schenn scoring his 100th NHL goal. Drafted in 2009, he played just nine combined games for the LA Kings in two seasons before being traded to the Flyers. All 100 of his goals have been scored for Philadelphia. He has 16 goals on the season so far, just 10 shy of his career-high set last season.
All Star MVP sweep. This weekend, Wayne Simmonds represented the Flyers at the NHL All Star Game in Los Angeles. He scored twice in the first game against the Atlantic division and he scored the game-winner in the final game against the Pacific division, earning him All Star MVP honors. He’s only the second Flyer to ever win the honor — Reggie Leach won it in 1980.
In addition to the NHL All Star Game, this weekend was also the AHL All Star Game, held in Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms had three representatives: Taylor Leier, Jordan Weal and TJ Brennan. The trio combined for five goals and two assists throughout the tournament. The Atlantic division fell just short of winning the final game against the Central division, losing 1-0. Playing in his first professional All Star game, Leier scored three goals of his own and claimed the second MVP honors of the weekend for the Flyers’ organization.
Mr. First Star. It’s Wayne’s world and we’re all just living in it. In addition to being named the All Star Game’s MVP, Wayne Simmonds was also named the NHL’s first star of the week. Winning the MVP certainly helped him earn this honor as well, but his performances in the Flyers’ other two games were what sealed the deal. He scored goals in both wins over the Rangers and the Maple Leafs, and had a three-game goal streak going into the weekend. This is the third time a member of the Flyers has earned the NHL’s top star. Jake Voracek and Steve Mason received the honors in back-to-back weeks in December.
NHL’s top young stars. Last week the NHL shop released a list of the 12 top selling “young stars,” aged 23 and younger. Ten teams were represented, and no one should be surprised that the list was topped by Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews and Oilers captain Connor McDavid. The Flyers, however, were the only team that had multiple players in the top 12. Shayne Gostisbehere topped the Flyers at number 3 on the list, and rookies Travis Konecny (7) and Ivan Provorov (10) also made the cut.