Flyers-Wild game recap: Who invented defense, anyway

The Philadelphia Flyers were stifled by the Minnesota Wild’s defense in a dreary shutout loss.

Whoever came up with the phrase “defense wins championships” clearly did not realize that the exact same could be said of offense, but nonetheless, they would’ve been thrilled to watch last night’s dry affair of a hockey game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Minnesota Wild. The Flyers found themselves on the wrong end of the 1-0 score, dropping to 8-7-2 on the year.

The first period couldn’t have been duller, as the two teams combined for a paltry six scoring chances and 13 shots on goal. Things livened up a bit after that, as the second period brought some more quality opportunities for both teams.

But only the Wild would be able to cash in. Jason Zucker poked in a rebound from a missed shot from the point early in the third, putting them up for good. The Flyers made a late push, but were ultimately unable to come up with a game-tying goal.

Game observations

  • As is typical for a 1-0 game, the goalies truly stood up tall. Brian Elliott and the Wild’s Devan Dubnyk had outstanding games, and an unfortunate bounce was the only thing that separated the two.
  • It’s also worth pointing out that the Wild’s defense was excellent tonight. They shut down passing lanes and prevented the Flyers from creating the dangerous scoring chances they’ve begun to seek out in the offensive zone this year.
  • The discrepancy in ice time between the Couturier line and the Flyers’ bottom three lines was astounding. The three top-liners all recorded more than 22 minutes of playing time, while only one other Flyers skater received more than 14 minutes (Wayne Simmonds, with 16). This made sense given the Flyers’ struggles to muster offense and the Couturier line’s effectiveness, but it’s a bit concerning on multiple levels that the Flyers feel they can’t count on any other lines to score goals, and have to drive the top line into the ground to win.

Most Fly

As mentioned above, Brian Elliott was a stud. Encouraging to see him string a few strong performances together- time will tell if he can keep it up.

Least Fly

The lack of offense, in general. Hockey is more fun when goals are being scored, ideally by your team, and that just didn’t happen. What do you think, Shayne Gostisbehere?

One-Sentence Takeaway

The Flyers will meet this very same Wild team in their next game on Tuesday- hope they learned something from last night.

(Stats via Natural Stat Trick)