BITTER BIRDS
Flyers Extend Winning Streak to Five Games
By Caleb Weiler With a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators Sunday night, the Philadelphia Flyers extended their current win streak to five games, which is their longest since March of 2014. They've beaten some stellar teams too such as the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators. Impressive! This five-game winning streak can be traced back to one player, and that is Steve Mason. He hasn't let up more than two goals per game and has had a save percentage of .941 over four of the five Flyers games he's played in. Mason has slowly brought his average save percentage up since the beginning of the season after a horrendous start. His current percentage is .902, but with the way he has been playing, that will surely continue to go up. When Michal Neuvirth went down with an injury, Mason’s stellar play has helped the Flyers move to four games over .500. Not only has Mason put the team on his back for this five-game winning streak, but Flyers captain Claude Giroux has been having a great five games of his own. No only has Giroux potted three goals and two assists over the last five games, but he also got engaged, which is a great thing for the captain. Giroux seems to have found himself again after going nine games without a goal. He finally broke through on this streak against the Bruins on the power play that he hammered past Tukka Rask. In the game after that against the Ottawa Senators, he lit the lamp two more times on the way to a 3-1 victory. Giroux seems to be playing with some jam again, continuing to be one of the Flyers top offensive producers. Other players that have been finding their way recently are Wayne Simmonds, Jake Voracek and Ivan Provorov. Provorov, the rookie defenseman, had his first two-goal game Saturday against the Blackhawks, who the Flyers have now won 13 regular season home games in a row against. In the short season so far, Provorov has cemented himself as the Flyers number one shut down defenseman and has been showing his offensive side as well. Provorov will only continue to get better as he learns the game at the NHL level and continues to gain confidence. There is a very bright future for the 19 year old here in Philadelphia. Voracek and Simmonds continue to be offensive powerhouses for the Flyers, Simmonds with two goals Sunday against the Predators and Voracek with two assists on the two Giroux goals against the Senators. Simmonds has had five points during the winning streak and Voracek has had seven, showing once again that the Flyers can be an offensive juggernaut at the top of their lineup. This current Flyers winning streak goes to show that with a hot goaltender you can do anything in the NHL. Mason has been standing on his head over the last four games, stopping 94.5 percent of the shots he's seen. I would not be surprised to see Coach Dave Hakstol ride the hot hand as long as possible. The Flyers have another three games coming up this week against the Florida Panthers, Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars, all of which will be a challenge for this surging Flyers squad. Do not be surprised to see Mason start all three games if he can continue to be red hot.