Flyers-Predators recap: It didn’t end better than last time

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 19: Michal Neuvirth
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 19: Michal Neuvirth /

The red-hot Philadelphia Flyers offense met its match in Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators, falling by a score of 1-0.

Like most sports, hockey is a game of inches. You only get so many chances in any one game, and that’s the beauty of it all. It’s why the better team sometimes finds itself on the short end of the stick, why the game is worth watching.

The Philadelphia Flyers were not the better team in their rematch with the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, but they had more than enough chances to snatch away a victory. Sean Couturier‘s line in particular generated scoring opportunities all night. Unfortunately, no Flyer was able to make a play that could turn the tide of the game, and the Orange and Black’s chance at exacting revenge on the Predators slipped away.

Related Story: Flyers-Predators preview: Second time's the charm?

Game observations

The first period was an eye-gougingly bad showing from the referees, who missed numerous  penalties by the Predators. One Preds player even slashed

Shayne Gostisbehere

so hard that his glove flew off. No call. Nothing else egregious happened in the remaining final periods, but the Flyers were deprived of multiple powerplays that could’ve led to a different result.

Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers /

Philadelphia Flyers

  • Poor Wayne Simmonds was injured in an unlikely accident, hit in the mouth by a stick while sitting on the bench. He would return to the game shortly, but I think it’s about time the hockey gods gave Wayne a break, no?
  • Jordan Weal was a surprising late scratch, and is listed as day-to-day. His offensive punch and strength on the boards were sorely missed on the second line, where his spot was manned by the unspectacular Jori Lehtera.
  • For the second time this year, Michal Neuvirth wound up the hard luck loser. Neuvy was solid from the opening puck drop, stopping 23 of 24 Predator shots. He’s clearly outperformed Brian Elliott so far, and deserves to receive more than half the starts moving forward
  • Most Fly

    Robert Hagg gave his best performance thus far in his short NHL career. While the freelancing Shayne Gostisbehere hung him out to dry on multiple occasions, Hagg was up to the task each and every time. He shut down Predator odd-man rushes, won board battles, and was always in the right place at the right time. If he can turn these kinds of games into regular occurrences, Hagg very well could fulfill his potential of being a top-four defenseman.

    Least Fly

    As mentioned above, the referees were absolutely dreadful in the first period. It’s not unreasonable to think the game could’ve turned out very differently if a few missed calls had been, well, not missed.

    One-Sentence Takeaway

    As far as shutouts go, a spirited loss at the hands of the Predators isn’t the worst thing in the world.

    Next: Will the Flyers make the Stanley Cup playoffs?