Flyers Special Teams
One of the biggest eras of the Flyers’ game that needed to improve during the 2021-22 campaign was the powerplay and penalty kill, and through the first 11 games, the results have been… mixed. After the first eight games the powerplay ranked 15th in the league and the penalty kill was ranked 18th and the on-ice production has visibly improved even if it wasn’t registered on the score sheet.
In their last five games dating back to Calgary, they’ve gone just 1/14 on the powerplay thanks to Michel Therrien big braining some unnecessary shifts in the PP units. They’ve also killed 10 of 13 opportunities on the penalty kill. The powerplay in now 18th in the league and the penalty kill ranks 16th.
It sounds like they finally tinkered with their clearly jacked up powerplay units in Thursday’s practice, which is good because they’re going to need every ounce of success they can muster with a very difficult stretch of games coming up.
PHF Opening Weekend Notes
The Boston Pride opened the season undefeated after beating the Minnesota Whitecaps twice, while the Connecticut Whale and Metropolitan Riveters split a weekend series. Elsewhere, the Toronto Six earned their first victory over the Buffalo Beauts in a 4-3 buzzer beater.
-Alyssa Wohlfeiler of the Connecticut Whale had the first goal of the PHF era.
-Taylor Accursi scored a goal in the Beauts 4-3 loss, but the goal helped Accursi set the all-time scoring record for the Beauts with 27 goals and 43 points.
-Boston Pride captain Jillian Dempsey scored he 50th career goal in her 100th career PHF game. She holds the NWHL/PHF record for most goals, assists, and points.
-First-year Toronto Six head coach Mark Joslin picked up his first career win after beating the Beauts in a last-second nail biting win.
Hayes and Ellis Returning
Kevin Hayes was eligible to come off of LTIR on Wednesday and even though he didn’t suit up against the Leafs he sounds eager to the the ice and may or may not play this weekend against the Canes or Stars even though Alain Vigneault said Tuesday vs the Flames is a more reasonable return date.
Ellis, who has been day-to-day for weeks now finally sounds like he’ll return on Saturday against the Stars. While it’s not a guarantee, and at this point I’ll believe it when I see it, AV sounded confident that will be his return date.
-Felix Sandstrom picked up his third win of the season on Wednesday vs Hershey. He has a .907 save percentage and 2.89 goals against average in eight games this season. He has been by far the stand-out star through the Phantoms early struggles and has played much better than his pedestrian numbers suggest.
-Morgan Frost has one goal and nine points in 11 games with the Phantoms this season. His overall play has improved compared to his Phantoms stint in 2019-20, but seems to still be lacking enough dynamics in his game to contribute full-time at the NHL level yet.
-Egor Zamula registered his first professional goal and Cam York logged his first of the season Sunday.
-Tyson Foerster left Saturday’s game with an injury and did not play Sunday or Wednesday. He took an awkward hit into the boards and appeared to favor his shoulder as he left the ice. No update on his condition has been given.
-Zayde Wisdom is apparently ahead of schedule in his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery and should be cleared in December. It’s unclear at this point whether or not he returns to the Phantoms or gets sent back to his junior club the Kingston Frontenacs.
-The Phantoms are 3-1-0 in their last four after starting the season 0-5-2.
ICYMI- This Week on Brotherly Puck
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)