Though this week was rough at times, the Philadelphia Flyers managed to exit with five out of six points. They started off with a win against the league-worst Arizona Coyotes, despite allowing Arizona to control possession for all but the third period. On Thursday, an overtime defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins saw the Flyers steal a point. But the team finished strong, picking up a close 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. As always, some players’ performances were key to the Flyers’ successes. Conversely, others were not so productive. Each week, we’ll take a look at players on the Philadelphia Flyers who are on a hot or cold streak. This week, we’ll examine Carter Hart and Joel Farabee.
Be sure to check out last week’s streaks as well.
Hot and Cold Streaks, Including Carter Hart
Hot Streak: Carter Hart
Though the team around him often looked low-energy this week, Carter Hart was completely focused in net. The Flyers goaltender started in two games and put up an above-.910 save percentage in each. On Tuesday, he held the Coyotes scoreless, stopping 29 shots for the fifth shutout of his career.
Too often, the Flyers had difficulties navigating the neutral zone, trapping them in their own end for a significant amount of time. Consequently, Hart had to shoulder an even greater workload. He faced 65 shots in total, a whopping 30 of them high-danger chances. Yet Hart made numerous crucial saves to keep the score close in games where the Flyers were being outplayed.
Though Hart shut out the Coyotes, his most notable performance of the week came against the Penguins. Yes, the game-winning goal—in which his pad slid just enough to allow the puck to cross the goal line—was one he’d probably like to have back. But the fact that the Flyers even made it to overtime can largely be attributed to Hart. At the tail end of the second period, he saved a point-blank shot from Jake Guentzel and several jabs from Danton Heinen to shut down one of many alarming sequences that could have gone south quickly.
Overall, Hart had an excellent week. Hopefully, the Flyers won’t have to rely on him so heavily in the future. But even if they keep playing the way they did this week, Hart has proven himself capable of stepping up when the team around him isn’t at its best.
Honorable Mention: Sean Couturier
In a week where the Flyers seemed to struggle to generate much offence, Sean Couturier provided a much-needed boost. Through three games, he recorded three points—two goals and an assist.
After two periods of rather stagnant play against the Coyotes, Couturier found himself on a two-on-one. He received a cross-ice pass from Travis Konecny and quickly flipped a shot over the shoulder of Karel Vejmelka. Though the Flyers would go on to pad their lead with another two goals, it was Couturier’s tally that won them the game.
While Couturier did not log a point in Thursday’s game, he picked up his second goal of the week to open the scoring against the Capitals on Saturday. In a sequence in front of Washington’s net, he managed to thread the puck through Vitek Vanecek’s legs to find the back of the net. And, when the Capitals went empty-net in the final two minutes, Couturier was right in the middle of the effort to maintain the Flyers’ precarious lead.
Admittedly, Couturier wasn’t perfect this week. He was susceptible to lulls in energy, just as the rest of the team was. But, even while not playing at his best, he dug deep and did enough to put the Flyers over the top in two games.
Cold Streak: Joel Farabee
Was Joel Farabee the worst player on the Flyers this week? No. But he was so spectacular to start the season that, by comparison, he’s looked cold recently. Farabee has six points thus far, and all six came within the first three games. Since then, he hasn’t scored a point.
Through this week’s initial two games, Farabee also struggled to control possession. Against Arizona, he recorded a 33.33 percent Corsi. Facing Pittsburgh, it was 35.71. Given the fact that his line often appeared to have difficulty sustaining their offensive sequences, the underwhelming numbers make sense.
Of course, it wasn’t all bad for Farabee. As part of a penalty kill that put up a perfect record this week, he did solid defensive work. And at the end of the week against the Capitals, he played a solid game, recording a much-improved 66.67 percent Corsi. Still, Farabee has shown that he is capable of doing far more than he did this week. Going forward, it would be nice to see him getting back to consistently contributing to the Flyers’ scoring.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images