The Philadelphia Flyers are on a roll
Saturday afternoon the Philadelphia Flyers extended their winning streak to 8 by defeating the Dallas Stars 4-2. Brayden Schenn netted a hat-trick while winger Jakub Voracek put up a goal and 3 assists, good enough to give him second place for total points in the league behind only Connor McDavid. However, 2 key components for the Flyers all season long were present once again in their victory.
All three of Brayden Schenn’s goals came on the powerplay with Shayne Gostisbehere and Mark Streit each notching an assist on one of them.
The Flyers powerplay has been nothing short of amazing during the 2016-17 season so far, earning them the second-ranked powerplay in the entire NHL. It has in no way been absent over the course of their massive eight-game winning streak, with nine goals coming on the powerplay in their last eight games.
Wayne Simmonds, who’s been arguably their best player all season, leads the team with eight powerplay goals on the year. Something teams are going to have to quickly adjust when playing the Flyers, is to take less penalties altogether. With Shayne Gostisbehere quarterbacking the unit and three of the NHL’s top ten point scorers in front of him, abstinence from taking penalties is the only logical solution for Philadelphia’s opponents.
The season-long story for this team has been the offensive help from their defensemen. The Flyers team defense leads the league in points. Their highest scoring defensemen, Shayne Gostisbehere and Mark Streit, rank 14th and 15th in points by defenseman.
However, this is where the Flyers have been so successful. Their 8 defensemen who have seen the ice this season have put together a whopping 82 points in 30 games played. Having that kind of scoring depth into your second and third pairing defensemen is going to result in some heavy scoring for the team as a whole. Which explains why the Flyers are tied with the New York Rangers for most goals for, with 100 each.
Averaging 3.33 goals per game along with the newly great goaltending from Steve Mason and the second best powerplay in the league? That’ll get you to third place in the metropolitan division, as it has been by far the strongest division in the league thus far. Over the course of their eight-game winning streak, Flyers defenseman have earned 22 points. Coach Dave Hasktol is utilizing the number of puck-moving defensemen he has exactly as he should.
By taking advantage of the offensive and skating abilities of Gostisbehere, Provorov, Del Zotto, MacDonald, and Streit he has built his team to be an offensive force to be reckoned with and the highest scoring team defense in the league by far. The New York Rangers are in second place on that stat but fall short by a huge 17 points with only 65 of them looking up at Philadelphia’s massive 82.