Philadelphia Flyers vs Vancouver Canucks Post Game Recap: Bullying The Broad Street Bullies

The Rundown

The Vancouver Canucks had been on a bit of a roll as they got ready to face the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. The Canucks’ record in the past 4 games was 3-0-1, and they looked to build on that against a team with 3 straight losses on their road trip.

Jakob Markstrom got the start in goal, and Adam Gaudette re-entered the lineup in place of Tim Schaller. Gaudette had recovered from the flu tonight to slot in, and looked to make an impact.


1st Period

Terrible start for the Canucks, as only 20 seconds in Nolan Patrick saw himself on a mini breakaway. Markstrom made the stick save and kept the Canucks from an early deficit.

The Canucks made Markstrom’s early stop worth it, as a little over 4 minutes in they took the lead. A great shift from Nikolay Goldobin, Bo Horvat, and Jake Virtanen was capped off by Chris Tanev. Tanev received a nifty back pass from Goldobin and dangled his way towards the Flyers goal before he squeaked a backhand shot under the arm of Anthony Stolarz for his 1st goal in over a calendar year.

The Canucks weren’t done, and 8 minutes into the period they got another one past Stolarz. Another good shift, this time from the Antoine Roussel, Gaudette, and Loui Eriksson line hemmed the Flyers in their own end. Alex Biega took a shot towards goal that was knocked down in front. Gaudette was able to tap the puck to Eriksson, who looked like a guy who’s used to scoring 20 goals a year, and sniped it past the young Flyers netminder for the 2 goal lead.

The 2nd Canucks goal led to an early end to the night for Stolarz, who was replaced by Alex Lyon. The goaltending change didn’t help too much, and 11 minutes in the Canucks took a commanding 3-0 lead. Josh Leivo picked up a puck in the slot, and skated towards the corner before he fired a puck off a Flyers defenders skate and over Lyon’s shoulder for his 3rd goal as a Canuck since being traded.

The Flyers caught a break 13 minutes into the period when Troy Stecher slashed a Philadelphia forward and took a minor penalty. What ensued was an awful Flyers power-play, which failed to record a shot on goal against a Canucks penalty kill which was 8 for 8 before tonight’s game. However, the Flyers got on the board after their dreadful power-play expired. Scott Laughton deflected the puck forward (It never sat down for him), and blew past Derrick Pouliot before he shelved a shot over Markstrom. The Canucks still led 3-1, but needed to be careful not to give up another one before the end of the period.

The Canucks accomplished the task, and finished the 1st period with a 3-1 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers. A lot to like in the period, but the Canucks couldn’t rest on just one period and needed to continue to play hard if they wanted to come out of tonight with another win.


2nd Period

The Flyers came out just as hard as they did in the first, and got their 2nd power-play of the night after Alex Edler cross-checked Jakob Voracek from behind 1:30 into the period. However, the Canucks penalty kill remained perfect in their last 10 chances, and the Canucks still led by 2.

7 minutes into the period, and the Flyers almost saw Michael Raffl go in on a breakaway. HOWEVER, Markstrom didn’t have any of that, and beat Raffl to the puck in the slot! Markstrom was hit by Raffl, but he made the play.

Credit where credit is due, the Flyers didn’t quit, and out-played the Canucks for the next 5 minute stretch, as they desperately tried to battle their way back into the hockey game.

12 minutes in though, and it was the Canucks who struck again. Boeser blasted a bomb through traffic and through the five-hole of Lyon. The goal was Boeser’s 7th in his past 8 games, and 11th overall on the year. Fun fact, Boeser had 11 goals in 22 games played last year, and tonight was his 22nd game of the season.

The Canucks picked up their play for the next 5 minutes, and it honestly looked like the Canucks had taken control of the hockey game. There was a great chance for the Flyers as the period winded down, when Gostisbehere jumped up on the play and unleashed a heavy wrister that got through Markstrom, but stayed out. The Canucks headed to the 3rd period with a 3 goal lead, and in the driver seat to win their 4th game in 5 contests.


3rd Period

The 3rd period started off a lot better for the Canucks than the previous 2. They controlled play well, and 2 minutes into the period the Canucks received their first power-play of the night after Sean Couturier struck Virtanen up high with his stick. It was the Flyers who had the best chance of the power-play however, as Laughton came in on another partial breakaway, but this time he was stopped by Markstrom not once, but twice. Power-play continued and the Canucks looked dreadful. To no one’s surprise, they failed to convert.

5:30 minutes in, and Markstrom made another quality save, this time off a Couturier shot. Another quality save from Markstrom, who looked for his 5th win in his past 7 starts.

8:30 minutes in, and Tyler Motte took his first penalty of the season. He slashed Couturier, and the Flyers went to their 3rd power-play of the game. They were unable to beat the Canucks penalty kill in their previous 2 attempts.

The Canucks only had to kill off 1:35 of the Flyers power-play before Philadelphia took another penalty of their own. A frustrated Couturier slashed Tanev after he broke up a play, and the Canucks headed to their 2nd power-play of the night after 25 seconds of 4 on 4.

The Canucks power-play continued to look absolutely dreadful, and fell to 0 for 2. 

Wouldn’t see much action till the 13th minute of the game, when Jay Beagle got his name on the score sheet after he held Patrick. Beagle’s penalty meant the Flyers power-play went to work for the 4th time in the game. On the 4th power-play, the Canucks had the best chance of the period. Eriksson and Motte came down the ice on a 2 on 1 which started after Eriksson intercepted a Claude Giroux pass in the Canucks zone. Eriksson made a great pass over to Motte, but Motte was denied by Lyon on his backhand, and the score remained 4-1. Eriksson followed up Motte’s chance with one of his own on the next play, but his shot was swatted out of the air by the blocker of Lyon. 

The Canucks killed off the penalty, and Markus Granlund iced the game with an empty netter only 16:30 minutes into the final frame. The Canucks closed the game out effectively, and wound up with the 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.


Advanced Stats

Both photos courtesy of naturalstattrick.com

Wrap Up

The Canucks had themselves a great game tonight. Lots to like from a young team that took it to a tired Flyers team.

Adam Gaudette had himself a game this evening. He had 3 looks in the 1st period that should’ve resulted in some goals, but wasn’t able to finish them off. Also laid the body almost every chance he could, and flashed some skill at various points throughout the game. He’s gotten better every game this year, and is close to a true breakout performance. Didn’t look like a player that had recently recovered from the flu.

Nikolay Goldobin had some quality juice tonight. The young Russian made a ton of great plays, and the back-pass he made to Tanev was beautiful. Also, he never got taken off the Horvat line tonight, and looked like he earned the respect of Green. Even if it’s just for tonight, that in itself was a positive development.

There are a lot of other players who had solid nights, but the penalty kill of this team has been perfect recently, and was instrumental in the win. The Canucks killed off all 4 Flyers power-plays, and didn’t give the road team any quality looks. Sure, Gostisbehere unleashed some rockets from the point, but Markstrom read all of them and made the saves look fairly routine. The Canucks came into tonight 8 for 8, and came out 12 for 12. A massive reason why the team has gone 4-0-1 in their past 5 games.

Ultimately, just a great game for the Canucks tonight. Their power-play was horrendous, but the rest of their game was on point. All in all, a fun night for Canucks’ fans. 

  • LTFan

    It’s always nice to get back in the win column. Even though we were 3 goals up before the 12 minute mark of the 1st period, the team wotrked hard all game long. Those 3 goals seemed to take most of the “battle” out of the Flyers. Flyers need much better goal tending than they are currently getting.

    • DJ_44

      Agreed. Best line on the ice tonight I thought. I have a feeling Gaudette will get a bunch once the flood gates open.

      I also like how Gaudette circles low in the defensive zone to give his dmen easy options for an outlet. Beagle also had a good night. He brings speed, energy and attitude when he is on the ice.

      • truthseeker

        It’s why I don’t want him going down. He’s earned his NHL spot in my opinion.

        The AHL is for learning systems and defensive play. “Ice time” and “being dominant” in the AHL doesn’t matter. Just ask Reid Boucher. The difference between the AHL and the NHL is mental ability, not physical. You simply can’t learn to “process” the NHL game in the AHL because the AHL is not the NHL. It’s a different mental level. Decision making happens so much faster in the NHL and the only place to get that experience is here. 8 to 10 minutes a night, or whatever he’s getting, in the NHL (plus practice time) are far far better for him than 20 minutes a night at the AHL level.

        • DJ_44

          The AHL can also be used to get a scoring touch and offensive confidence back. More like a conditioning stint of sorts. I agree he has earned his spot in the NHL; Green has high praise for his overall game.

          However if he gets sent down, it is part of the development process for him to find his offensive game — big minutes, PP, even PK. Using the term “earned it” can conjure up a mis-guided notion of fairness and sending messages. I have little doubt the coaching staff works hard with Gaudette, the kid takes it all in and it shows!

          • truthseeker

            Sure…on an established player. The AHL isn’t going to help a kid like Gaudette “find his scoring touch” in the NHL. Playing in the NHL will do that. Or it won’t. We’ll see.

          • Killer Marmot

            I doubt sending a player down is a big confidence booster. In fact, the player might wonder if he’ll ever return to the NHL.

            But who knew that the Canucks would be nearing a completely healthy line-up? I never saw that coming.

          • truthseeker

            I suspect if they did send him down, say when Sutter comes back, they’d make it pretty clear to him it’s a numbers game and not because he’s not playing well enough. I suspect Gaudette would be one of the rare cases where he probably wouldn’t be too wounded by it in terms of the mental aspect affecting his play. Sure he won’t like those AHL pay checks as much though.

            Your point is a good one though. I don’t think it’s wise to be sending down guys who are obviously more deserving of roster spots than others, regardless of position.

          • Defenceman Factory

            Canucks have had a bad habit of playing down to poorer teams. Good to see that didn’t happen. Pretty good effort, one of Markstrom’s better games and what a goal by Tanev.

            Gaudette really did have a good game last night as did Ericksson. Gaudette has shown flashes each game and looks to be continually improving. He and Motte are the reasons I find the Gaunce vs Schaller debate trivial.

            When the Canucks are healthy the forward positions get crowded and someone has to go down. It might have been Leipsic but it won’t be Leivo (another perfect screen on the Boeser goal). Schaller can go down leaving a 3rd line of Baertschi/Lievo, Gaudette and Ericksson. Granlund goes to the press box. What move do you make when Sutter returns? I don’t think you risk Motte or Granlund on waivers.

            Has Gaudette shown enough yet for the Canucks to trade Sutter? Will Gaudette need to show he can consistently win face-offs and kill penalties before that happens. The Canucks shouldn’t rely on Horvat taking on significant PK minutes.

          • TD

            If the Canucks can stay healthy, Benning may see Gaudette’s development and need for playing time as a reason to trade Sutter. With Baertschi coming back, they could have three scoring lines and the trade of Sutter could bring back a young right D or more picks at the draft.

          • truthseeker

            Sutter’s not bringing back a “young right D”. Not of any significant value anyway. Teams don’t trade good young D talent (A or B level prospects) for average wingers or lower line centers.

            Center depth is important to playoff teams though. We might be able to get a first rounder for him with some kind of prospect thrown in.

  • Braindead Benning

    Nice win and good all around effort by the canucks especially the bottom 6 of the team. I wonder whats wrong with the Flyers? (besides goal tending as usual) they definitely have alot of good skilled players and thought they could push back better… fired the wrong guy should have been Holmgren & Hackstol

  • Fred-65

    Man I thought the forwards as a group worked hard. Their back checks were really good. They we quicker to the puck for sure and had the Flyers off balance for the most part. The Flyers ain’t going any where with goal tending like this. I can see them going hard after Bobrovsky who’s a UFA in the summer. They have US$29 mill available come the summer.

  • truthseeker

    I like the resilience of this team. They’re realizing that there will be times when you get out worked, and other teams take the play to you, as happened often in this game, but that you keep fighting through that and continue to put the effort in.

    It’s certainly a nice change to have a canucks team that seems to be able to score too. I’ll take losing games while scoring goals to barely being able to score and losing, any day of the week.

    • Cageyvet

      Amen, truthseeker. I don’t disagree on your Gaudette take, either, although there are good arguments on both sides. Most importantly, I agree he’s got the mentality to be in the NHL, and if he goes to the AHL, he will do so with the right attitude and be back up better than ever at the first injury.

  • Kanuckhotep

    While there’s no such thing as a guaranteed 2 pts anymore the Canucks nonetheless accomplished the task against an aenemic Flyers line up which has had no real goaltending since Hextall was in net. Gaudette now playing more and more like he wants to stay on the big club permanently. With the charged up McOilers here tomorrow it definitely won’t be as easy as it was tonight.

  • Whazzit

    As bad as the Canucks have been at times, (what was it, 1-12-1 in 14 games?), it’s a bit scary to think that teams like LA, Chicago and Philly (and St. Louis?) are even worse, and without the light at the end of the tunnel that we at least seem to now have. A huge part of me hopes that management isn’t just looking at what makes other teams successful, like Winnipeg, Nashville or Tampa, but is also looking at what’s going wrong with these teams (beyond just the obvious things like being too old, or getting poor goaltending) and learning from their mistakes too.

    • DJ_44

      As bad as the Canucks have been at times, (what was it, 1-12-1 in 14 games?),

      I would suggest they were not “bad” during this stretch. They were not winning. I can think of maybe 3 games where effort was not there (Islanders away, Pittsburgh at home …. ), the remaining games they played well. Combined with Nilsson’s (and Demko’s) injury which resulted in Markstrom be ridden hard, brutal schedule, and the other 4 injuries, it combined to hurt their record.

      They are healthy and the schedule will turn in their favour. The will not get all the breaks all the time. Very good teams may beat them. But they are learning how to win. It is part of a rebuilding process. Enjoy it.

  • wjohn1925

    Another game where we worked hard and got the bounces. Like other posters, I was quite impressed by the play of Gaudette and his line. For the most part I was underwhelmed by him in the early part of the season and seriously wondered if he would ever be an NHL regular, but as time goes on it’s clear that he is just beginning to show the skill set that won him a Hobey Baker. I’m also starting to come around to appreciating Eriksson and the benefits he can provide to the younger players, like Gaudette. Erikkson doesn’t have the wheels, but he understands positioning as well as anyone, and for players like Gaudette, this could be exactly the support he needs to excel at the NHL level. Gaudette may well end up in Utica after Sutter returns, but then again, they may decide to shift him to the wing for a while. Unlike most of the Utica call ups (Gaunce, Archibald…) Gaudette clearly is learning how to play in the NHL and making steady progress, surrounded by quality players and coaching. Might be better to keep him here.

  • Gino über alles

    I think the improved and responsible play of Gaudette means that Sutter can be had at the trade deadline. I’m all for his leadership in the room and his work on the PK but those holes can be filled by Beagle and Horvat, Gaudette is not looking out of place as the permanent 3rd line centre. His scoring will come, I have no doubt of that.

  • Nuck16

    I had a feeling Petey wasn’t going to have an impressive game tonight once I heard he was going to be the After Hours guest…that’s a big distraction as a young rookie. Would have been better they give him the tap after the game rather than before.

  • Me

    This is the first Canucks team I’ve seen in a decade that doesn’t seem to play down to a weaker opponent or take the foot off the gas with a lead.

    It’s good to see. I think that’s a sign they’re turning into a legit contender (after finishing 20th or so this year and finally getting some luck with those damn lottery balls so we can pick up a matched set of Hughes brothers).

    • truthseeker

      Huh? It hasn’t been a decade since the 11 team. That team knew how to crush an opponent. They’d give up a lead and be like “meh….we got this..” and they did have it. I think it will be a long time before we ever see a canuck team with that kind of efficiency again.

  • Doodly Doot

    Gaudette is making excellent progress this year. An excellent rookie story that’s been overshadowed by Pete’s sensational campaign. I’m going to continue to compare him to Kesler because he’s got genuine Selke potential. A couple years from now he will be blowing minds. The thought of having Pete, Horvat and Gaudette down the middle in their primes a few years from now is going to be one of the keys to being a true contender. I can see it coming.

    A shoutout to Stecher. Currently the Canucks’ #1 D with 11pts and +11 in a bottom-six pairing. I believe he’s the team leader in drawing penalties as well. Not sure he can bench press as much as Del Zotto, so still work to be done.

  • kermit

    I thought Brian Burke talking about Bo’s junior scouting report was interesting. He said the most important criteria was “will play”, meaning he won’t be a total bust. It shows you that even with first rounders, they know there is this risk, that not only will they fail to meet projections, they may fail so badly that they don’t even make it out of the minors.

    • Roy

      Brian Burke is a bloated, slow-motion has-been. He has no business being on tv, but given that HNIC gave Hrudey his own segment it’s clear CBC are grasping at straws. They can’t do any better than those clowns? I’m not even going to waste space on Cherry, who just babbles like a toddler now. So bush league

  • Kanuckhotep

    Being cautiously optimistic I’d say the future is looking brighter each game for the Canucks. Like MTL, BUF and even the NYR Vancouver is on the correct youth path. In the not too distant future Benning’s mettle will be truly tested as a GM when Seattle gets to draft and who he will protect. TOR is also a youth team but by that time if they haven’t won it they’ll be finished. The key? Stay young and don’t hand out Dubas contracts IMO.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Adam Gaudette was outstanding tonight. Looked like a buzz saw when he was out there.
    Tyler Motte really impressed me with his hard work at both ends of the ice too.

  • schmere

    Hi Cole! I really am enjoying your write ups. Also, a couple of weeks ago, someone recommended you take a simpler past-tense approach in your writing ; I see you took that comment to heart and it has paid off. Thank you for your work.

    • CanuckleheadOz

      I haven’t noticed anyone commenting on the “wouldless” progression in your writing, Cole. Good to see that you took what (I believe) was meant to be constructive criticism and acted on it in your own time.
      I’ve really enjoyed your last few write-ups.