December 10, 2023

Flyers shutout by Maple Leafs in frustrating fashion


Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Flyers came into Wednesday night’s game needing a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but came out getting shutout in a brutal loss in front of 17,997 fans at the Wells Fargo Center

This one was an all around bad loss. Mainly the offense just kind of vanished. The power play was horrible. They just had nothing going on the PP. They had no momentum. The defense wasn’t on point. Carter Hart was really good, though.

It may be time for Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault to mix some things up.

Flyers drop down to 6-3-2.

Period 1

David Kampf won the opening faceoff, and we were underway from the Wells Fargo Center.

First shift the Auston Matthews line was on the ice, Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault matched with the Sean Couturier line. Not a surprise, but it’ll still be an interesting battle to watch tonight if Vigneault is indeed chasing it.

Scott Laughton went to the box for and early hooking penalty. There was a nice stop early on the penalty kill by Carter Hart as a bounce found William Nylander in a dangerous area. Hart made a big stop. Flyers were shorthanded (2-on-1). A Nate Thompson shot was stopped by Jack Campbell and the rebound just hopped the stick of Sean Couturier. The Flyers ended up with a very solid PK.

Flyers had some trouble with breakouts from the defensive zone for at least two minutes. They allowed the Maple Leafs to get extended attack time but, thankfully, Hart was sharp again.

Flyers got their first PP of the evening at 12:17 as Jason Spezza went to the sin bin for holding. The Flyers did a whole lot of nothing as the Maple Leafs killed the PP easily.

David Kampf went to the box for tripping at 17:30, and the Flyers went right back on the PP. There were some changes on this PP, and all I saw from the personnel changes made to the power play is a bunch of players out of sync. It was some of the worst hockey I’ve ever watched. The Maple Leafs got an easy PK.

Flyers and Leafs are tied 0-0 after one period of play. The Leafs lead in shots 12-11. The Flyers needed to regroup and come out with some sort of gameplan in the second period because that was a sloppy first period. They’re lucky Hart is their goalie.

Period 2

David Kampf won the draw to begin the second period.

Auston Matthews turned in the corner and threw it in the crease on a wraparound, but Hart sealed the goal line to keep it out at 1:16. Nice stop by Hart.

Hart robbed David Kampf at 4:29. Kampf got a one timer out in front, and Hart dove at it and stopped it with the right pad. He was oozing with confidence Wednesday night.

Nick Ritchie went to the box for roughing as he basically ripped off Rasmus Ristolainen’s helmet. Flyers went to their third PP of the night. Keith Yandle was the new quarterback for the top power-play unit. It didn’t make much of a difference. Some offensive-zone time, but no real chances as the Leafs got a pretty easy PK.

William Nylander scored at 11:11, but it is immediately (and when I say immediately, I mean immediately) waved off. Nylander was playing the wrong sport and kicked the puck in. But, the call was overturned. Once again, the NHL has pretty much decided that unless a player fully winds up his foot, it’s not gonna be a kicking motion ruling, so I’m not completely shocked it was called a goal.

The Leafs have the only goal of the game so far for a 1-0 lead. The Flyers outshot the Maple Leafs 12-7 in the second period and hold a 23-19 advantage overall. Flyers had a pretty solid second period, especially after the goal by Toronto. Just not quite executing perfectly to get the goal or getting a bounce to go their way.

Period 3

Derick Brassard won the opening faceoff, and the final period was underway.

Yandle had another brutal turnover, and of course Hart made a big stop with his glove to bail him out. Yandle was not great Wednesday night. Hart was.

Slashing penalty on Ivan Provorov at 4:25. Pretty soft call. Hart made a great save on an initial shot by Nick Ritchie in the slot, but Nylander got wide open following the scramble that ensues and he has plenty of time to whip one right past Hart. Nylander had both of the Leafs’ goals, and they led 2-0 at 5:09.

Tripping penalty on Ondrej Kase put the Flyers on their fourth PP with 10:50 left. Kase tripped up Scott Laughton and knocked him down to the ice and he was slow to get up. Nonetheless, Flyers needed to score here, but they didn’t.

Claude Giroux took a high-sticking penalty with 8:34 left to play. Hart dove across the crease to make a follow-up save amidst some chaos right in front of him. He’s been helping the Flyers tonight, but everyone else just didn’t seem hungry. They played well on that PK, but not right after. Kase went top shelf to give the Leafs a 3-0 lead and wrap this one up.

That was it. Flyers lose 3-0. Jack Campbell with a 36-save shutout. Just a little bit worse than the other guys in what felt like every aspect of the game, and it finally fell apart on them in the third period.

They didn’t get dominated like they did in Calgary, but it was still a frustrating loss. Just couldn’t get anything going offensively.

Back-to-back in Carolina and Dallas starts Friday.

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