Kraken Skulls: Flyers Spoil Dave Hakstol’s Return to Philadelphia

Photo credit: © Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After mounting a furious comeback following a horrific second period in their season opener that saw the team pull back an improbable point, the Philadelphia Flyers came out in front of a raucous crowd on Monday night with a renewed sense of purpose. What followed was a number of things that simply hadn’t happened often –or at all– over the past few seasons. Two games into the season, it appears the massive overhaul GM Chuck Fletcher made this past offseason has made an impact.

A Rocky Start

The somewhat late-arriving crowd was treated to some uneasy moments to start this game, but thankfully for the Orange & Black, Carter Hart was on his game early.

Head coach Alain Vigneault had plenty of nice things to say about his young netminder:

…in our start we made two major mistakes and we got two big saves right off the hub. A breakaway, a tip, and not two but three great saves, and then the one where Carter just threw himself. I mean that’s basically the difference of whether they score and they get a little confidence and a little more energy. If they don’t score, they come right back and the next 10 minutes we’re in their zone and we score three. That was not the whole game there, but without a doubt it set us in the right direction.

Hart, who had an up-and-down performance in the home opener, appeared locked-in from the get-go, perhaps building off the confident play he put together late in the third period and overtime against the Canucks. Bundy’s hot take on Snow The Goalie continues to ring true: this team will go as far as Carter Hart takes them.

The Captain Sets the Tone

Speaking of hot takes, Anthony’s take on the pod that captain Claude Giroux would be a point-per-game player was nothing short of a scorcher. Or so it appeared prior to the start of the season. Yet, two games into the season, the captain has already netted a goal in each contest, including the first of the night against Seattle:

An aggressive Giroux could be a tone-setter for a team that simply refuses to be bullied, which leads us to…

Cero Miedo

That’s to say, no fear. It’s exactly what Nick Seeler put on display on Monday night, dropping the gloves with Jamie Oleksiak, a 6’7″, 255lb. mountain of a defenseman.

The most underrated part of the fight was easily the beginning where he just tossed the referee aside:

It’s like when two kids in school are ready to throw down and the whole cafeteria gets up, pulls out their phones, and starts ooing. The combatants square up and that small teacher runs in to break things up, only to get shoved out of the way, because neither fighter wants the guy to get caught in the crossfire. Not that that’s ever happened to me before… I digress.

Seeler said of the scrap:

He was sticking up for his teammate, which I understand and respect. I didn’t want to back down, and he’s a big boy so it was a good scrap. It was fun.

The fighting didn’t end there as Twitter’s favorite fourth liner Nate Thompson absolutely walloped Nathan Bastian:

Thompson jumped into the fray to defend his captain and his willingness to do so stood in stark contrast to the reluctance a number of Flyers had when it came to defending one another a season ago. Of the two scraps, forward Travis Konecny said:

I was just saying to Seels on the way in that I’ve never heard the building that loud in a long time. I don’t expect anything less coming from our fans. The emotion of just being back in Philly and they love us getting into it with the other team. He did a great job, Thomer did a great job. You can hear that atmosphere in the rink and on the bench. It was an awesome night.

Travis Konecny Might Be Back

Following a rough preseason that followed an even rougher 2021 campaign, forward Travis Konecny seems to have regained his scoring touch.

This goal was a big confidence booster as he created his own opportunity, collected the rebound, and put the Flyers up 2-0. Konecny is a guy who’s at his best when he can feed off the emotion of a crowd. It allows him to get under the opposition’s skin and gives his game a bit of the snarl needed to succeed at his size.

Everyone Gets a Goal

There were questions about this team’s chances of generating offense with Kevin Hayes on the mend following core muscle surgery. After putting up four goals in the opener, the Flyers found the back of the net six times on Monday night, including newcomer Derick Brassard:

Fellow newcomer Ryan Ellis:

Defenseman Justin Braun:

And last season’s leading goalscorer Joel Farabee:

Sure, the Flyers were playing against an expansion side that was playing in its fourth game in seven nights, but two points are two points. If this team can keep scoring anywhere near this level and Carter Hart can build off a strong effort on Monday night, this team will be a tough one to play against night after night.

Not the Greatest Return

For Dave Hakstol, Monday night must have felt like old times. There he stood behind the bench as an NHL head coach at the Wells Fargo Center, though this marked the first time he’d done so as a visiting coach. Unfortunately for Hak, the result marked the 63rd time he’d lose a regular season game in front of the Philadelphia faithful.

For more Flyers coverage, follow Snow The Goalie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also be sure to tune into The Press Row Show as Anthony SanFilippo and Russ Joy provide pregame and intermission coverage of every Flyers home game from press row of the Wells Fargo Center via the Crossing Broad Facebook page, YouTube Live, and Twitter, and their Twitter accounts   

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