ANAHEIM, Calif. -– The Flyers have a pretty good power play.
Yet, for some reason they’re giving up shorthanded goals this season.
The Flyers are now tied with Edmonton for the dubious league leadership after yielding a ninth shortie on Thursday during a 5-3 loss to the Ducks at Honda Center (see game recap).
Thursday's shorthanded goal was pivotal because the Ducks were clutching onto a 3-2 lead in the final period. Kimmo Timonen’s pass was picked off by Saku Koivu and became a goal by Daniel Winnik at the other end.
“I make that pass 1,000 times,” Timonen said. “He made a nice reach. It’s my bad.”
Goalie Steve Mason said the ice was terrible at that point but not impossible. Mark Streit said it was so bad he needed a tennis racquet to handle the puck.
“It wasn’t anything to do with the ice,” Timonen said. “I have to make that pass.”
So why are the Flyers giving up so many shorthanded goals?
“We got one defenseman and four forwards, that’s probably one of the issues,” Timonen said. “But we also score a lot of goals.”
Coach Craig Berube says it’s execution.
“There’s always something that can be done,” Berube said. “The setup sometimes, if you don’t execute, they are going to get odd-man rushes. We got to do a better job of executing.”
Jakub Voracek isn’t sure what the problem is either.
“We’re playing the umbrella, [it's] just one bad pass, a fumble or they pick it or it bounces and it’s 2-1. Depends on the plays,” said Voracek, who is often on the point and was there on this goal, too.
“They make a play and make it happen. The ice was bad but I wouldn’t blame it on the ice. We still have to make those plays. Sometimes mistakes happen at a bad time.”
That was the worst time.
“It’s really hurting us,” Mason said.
There were a couple of other things in the game that were just as significant. A midair save by goalie Frederik Andersen on Vinny Lecavalier stood out. Another was the Flyers' giving up a goal in the final 35.1 seconds of the first period when it was a 1-1 game.
Still, if the Flyers score there on the power play, it’s tied and who knows what the outcome is.
After skating to their best record in four years, the Philadelphia Flyers quelled the notion that they would show the growing pains of a rebuilding franchise in 2016. A playoff berth in Dave Hakstol’s first year as head coach brought about the emergence of a new noisemaker in the crowded Metropolitan division, one that stretched the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals to six games in the Quarterfinals.
The Flyers will look to build on the success of last season by relying more on budding players Shane Gostisbehere and Ivan Provanov while veterans Claude Giroux, Mark Streit and Boyd Gordon all look to lead the team back to another postseason. And while excitement continues to build in Philadelphia, fans can find comfort in the fact that Flyers tickets on the secondary market are the least expensive they’ve been this decade.
On TicketIQ, a leading online aggregator that pools both primary and secondary market listings to give consumers the most transparent buying experience, Flyers tickets are averaging $108.32 across all 41 home games at Wells Fargo Center this season. That marks a 12.4 percent drop from the $123.64 average at the beginning of last season. It is the cheapest home average the Flyers have posted since 2010, when TicketIQ began tracking resale ticket data.
While Thursday’s home opener served as one of the NHL’s most expensive games this week, a March 15 matchup with the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will be the most expensive Flyers home game this season. That game currently owns a $183.16 average, 69 percent over the season average, and the cheapest available tickets are priced for $73 each. Other top-priced games at Wells Fargo Center this season include January 4 against the New York Rangers ($163.62 avg./$57 get-in) and October 29 against the Penguins ($156.36 avg./$90 get-in).
For those looking for tickets to the cheapest Flyers games this season, an October 27 matchup with the Arizona Coyotes is the least expensive home game to attend. Tickets are averaging just $63.50, 41 percent below season average, and the get-in price is $16. Back-to-back games against the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets on November 15 and 17 follow, with tickets starting from just $20 each at both contests.
For the best deals on Flyers tickets this season, make sure to download the TicketIQ app. Fans can save up to 10 percent on all IQ Certified listings in the only engagement-based loyalty program in the marketplace. Download the TicketIQ app and start saving today!
Another Flyers player has been suspended by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
This time, it's right winger Dale Weise, who on Friday was banned three games for an illegal check to the head of Ducks defenseman Korbinian Holzer during the Flyers' 3-2 home-opening loss Thursday night.
As Holzer was attempting to chip the puck out of his own zone in the second period, Weise lowered his right shoulder and made a high hit to the blueliner.
The NHL Department of Player Safety explained that Weise made the head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable and unnecessary. Weise is a repeat offender, as he lost three preseason games for a hit while playing with the Canucks ahead of the 2013-14 regular season.
With Weise's suspension, rookie Roman Lyubimov, the Flyers' lone remaining healthy scratch, will enter the lineup.
The Flyers have been suspended an NHL-most 12 games. Forward Brayden Schenn served a three-game suspension to start the season for a hit in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, while defenseman Radko Gudas is currrently serving a six-gamer for a check during the preseason.
Weise, who the Flyers signed in the offseason to a four-year, $9.4 million deal, has not registered a point in four games playing on the team's third line.