The Flyers have boasted one of the top power play units in the NHL. Last season, the eighth-ranked power play had a pension of giving up shorthanded goals. The Flyers allowed the third most shorthanded goals last season and most of them were rooted in a common problem.
Craig Berube stressed good decision making with the puck and away from it when he took over as head coach. He wanted his players to be responsible on the ice and the wins would follow. It took some time for Berube to implement his system, but the Flyers were among the best in the NHL when they were hot.
Prior to Berube’s promotion, the players were making poor decisions with the puck. This became more evident when they would give up shorthanded goals. Let’s take a look at each of the 11 shorthanded goals the Flyers allowed.
Shorthanded goal no. 1: October 26, 2013 – Flyers @ Islanders
The Flyers were up 3-1 over the New York Islanders in the second period. They were awarded a power play and had a chance to give themselves a three-goal cushion. The Flyers got fancy with the puck and Frans Nielsen scored to cut the lead to one.
The video begins with the Islanders bolting up the ice with the puck. It does not show the ill-advised pass from Jakub Voracek.
Mark Streit toed the blue line and swept a pass to Voracek at the half boards. Voracek tried to send the puck through several Islanders and it was picked off.
Claude Giroux and Voracek hustled on the backcheck to cover their men. Streit tried to cover the two-on-one as best as he could, but a great pass was made. Neilsen ripped a backhand shot past Mason.
Streit could have covered the two-on-one a little better. Defensemen should take the pass away during a two-on-one. It is the goalie’s job to cover the shooter. The situation changes depending on how the play develops, as it will be showed later, but Streit should have faded toward Neilsen.
Shorthanded goal no. 2: November 27, 2013 – Flyers @ Lightning
Midway through the second period, the Flyers are in a 1-0 hole against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Kimmo Timonen‘s shot is blocked, which springs the odd-man rush.
Consistent backchecking was an issue for the Flyers last season. This was not the first time, a Flyers coasted while there was an odd-man rush happening right in front of him. Giroux and Voracek quit on this play.
Shorthanded goal no. 3: December 7, 2013 – Flyers @ Stars
The Dallas Stars were all over the Flyers during this game. Their speed was too much to handle.
The outcome of this game was not in question when this shorthanded goal was scored.
Claude Giroux fumbled the pass from Streit. A nice pass was made over the stick of Streit and Cody Eakin scored. This game would begin a string of 12 days where the Flyers would give up three shorthanded goals.