BITTER BIRDS
Flyers Tune up for Season with 4-3 Win over the Rangers
By Caleb Weiler Monday night, the Philadelphia Flyers faced their toughest competition yet, a New York Rangers squad made up of mostly veterans playing against a young Flyers team. The Flyers defense was compromised of mostly young guns headlined by a Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov pairing. Claude Giroux also made his preseason debut on a line with Travis Konecny and Brayden Schenn. Monday's game was a great test for the young Flyers defense corps who were going up against Rangers stars like Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, and Ryan Mcdonagh. The first period was a lot of back and forth, however no goals were scored until the second period, when the Flyers lit the lamp three times. Jordan Weal scored off a Gostisbehere carom off of back wall. After that goal, Weal is tied for the team lead in points with four.The Flyers received a 5-on-3 power play in which Jakub Voracek scored in the first half of the man advantage and none other than Konecny, who scored during the second half of it. After that goal, Konecny tied Weal for the most amount of points scored by a Flyer for the preseason. The Rangers went on to tie it up with one goal in the second and two more in the third, which led to a short, albeit riveting overtime. Overtime, which can lead to a shootout, almost always means bad things for the Flyers. However less than a minute into the extra period, Voracek had an amazing one-man effort to walk around all three Rangers defensemen and scored a superb goal against Mackenzie Skapski, the Rangers back-up goalie. Through the first two periods of the game, Steve Mason looked stellar as he had all preseason. There were a few mental mistakes, which led to the Rangers tying up the game. However, they were small mistakes and could easily be fixed by Mason as the Flyers gear up for the regular season. While not making an impact on the scoreboard, other than a secondary assist, Provorov had a spectacular game on the backend. Throughout the contest, Provorov looked like the smartest player on the ice. It seems like he sees the game better than anyone out there, and at the age of 19 that is no small feat. This was a great game to see what the Flyers young prospects can bring to the table. Konecny and Provorov both had stellar games with flashes of brilliance and helped push the Flyers to a win. Samuel Morin also had a great defensive game except for one turnover, which directly led to a goal. Radko Gudas also laid a huge hit on Jimmy Vesey which resulted in a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. In real time the hit seemed to be dangerous, but the department of player safety decided that Gudas had no way to avoid the contact and thus, the hit did not warrant a suspension. The Flyers also placed Colin McDonald on Waivers today to loan him to the Phantoms, which means there are now only five cuts to go until the roster is finalized. My Take:This game brought more of the same for Provorov and Konecny, flashes of brilliance and making decisions tougher for GM Ron Hextall. I think this game cements a place for both of these players on the Flyers final roster. While Hextall doesn't like to keep these young players up, it seems as though Provorov and Konecny are giving him no choice but to keep them around. Also surprising is that Morin is still on the team. After last night, Morin is showing his defensive and skating prowess but did have some lack of judgement with his blatant turnover. Morin was the last player to be cut in 2015 and is back with a vengeance and I believe with a little more seasoning he will be a valuable injury call up later this year. The roster is shaping up with Giroux back in the lineup and there are only two preseason games left, expect some exciting moves over the next week before the regular season begins.