Flyers-Sharks recap: Welcome to Wayne’s World

The Philadelphia Flyers emerged victorious on opening night, largely in part to a huge night from Wayne Simmonds and the Flyers’ powerplay.

If you stayed up to watch the Philadelphia Flyers take on the Sharks on opening night, you were treated with the best of all rewards: a visit to Wayne’s World. Wayne Simmonds posted a hat trick, lifting the Flyers to a 5-3 victory and putting them at the top of the Metropolitan Division. Playoffs, baby.

While there were some rough patches (that start of the first period, yikes), the team was able to, per tradition, lean on their powerplay to get the W. The Flyers were 3 for 5 on PP chances, hardly missing a beat from past years. You’ll take goals any way you can get them, but hopefully the Flyers can do a little more damage at even strength in the future.

Game observations

  • Through 2 periods, the Flyers were losing the 5v5 Corsi battle to the tune of 34-25. Not ideal, even though they did find themselves leading 3-2 on the only scoreboard that matters. But the team got their act together in the third period, generating 20 shots to only 14 against. Credit the Flyers for not sitting on their laurels with the lead.
  • The stacked first line certainly showed up on the scoresheet, with Claude Giroux tallying the team’s first goal and Jakub Voracek finishing with three assists. However, it was not a strong opening night for them at 5v5. While respectable by shot differential measures, the line bled high-danger scoring chances. The offensive creativity was there, but the defense wasn’t against the Sharks.
  • Meanwhile, the revamped fourth line of Taylor Leier, Scott Laughton, and Michael Raffl was a play-driving beast, each player finishing with a Corsi For% of at least 70%. They probably weren’t going up against the Sharks’ top lines, but their talent level is leaps and bounds higher than that of last year’s bottom line.
  • Andrew MacDonald update: took a penalty for cross-checking a Sharks player for no good reason, and posted the worst Corsi For% at 5v5 of any Flyers defenseman. *sighs*
  • Nolan Patrick played his first game as a Flyer! The results: mixed. His line was the worst set of forwards at play-driving against the Sharks, but his talent was evident. Patrick’s first career shot attempt came on a near-breakaway after jumping on a loose puck, and he made a number of slick drop passes to his linemates. Kid’s going to be a stud.
  • Brian Elliott didn’t have the cleanest of debuts, making an ill-advised poke check and fighting off pucks in the first period. In the end, though, three goals allowed on 35 shots isn’t too shabby.

Most Fly

Wayne Simmonds and the Flyers PP. They’ll have to keep it up to win games if the team’s mediocre 5v5 play continues.

Least Fly

Neither Samuel Morin nor Travis Sanheim was in the lineup. Either Dave Hakstol knows something about the press box that we don’t, or he’s making a terrible decision. Looking forward to another full year of AMac and Brandon Manning.

One-Sentence Takeaway

This is Wayne’s world, and we’re all just living in it.

(Stats via Natural Stat Trick)