News, quotes and other stuff from the notebook following Saturday’s entertaining win over Colorado.
Beating the best. The Flyers are on an impressive run of 6-2-1 since ending their six-game road trip. They beat three teams that entered Saturday leading their respective divisions (Boston Washington, St. Louis) and two teams in second place (Pittsburgh, Colorado). One of their losses was to Tampa Bay which entered Saturday 14-2-1 since Dec. 23.
The Flyers probably won’t win the Stanley Cup, but they are becoming a team nobody wants to see in the first round.
OK, now what? The Flyers’ next two games are against last-placed teams. They play Monday at Detroit and Thursday at home against New Jersey. The Flyers hold the second wild-card spot and are one point behind the Islanders for third place in the Metro. New York has two games in hand, however.
Channeling Tom Brady. Alex Lyon made 28 saves, including four on Gabriel Landeskog (13 goals in 33 games entering the night) and three on Nathan MacKinnon (30 in 49). He was asked about the mental side of his occupation and gave an extremely thoughtful answer.
“For me, the hardest part is avoiding the nerves," said, Lyon, a Yale graduate from Baudette, Minn. "Naturally, I get worked up. I just try really hard to stay even-Steven and that’s definitely the most challenging part. I’m a big football fan, so I like listening to Tom Brady, Russell Wilson. I just heard an interview with [Wilson] at the Super Bowl and he talked about how that mental, self-dialogue, is so extremely important. That belief in yourself, ‘I’m going to come out, I’m going to be the best player on the ice.’ Because the margins here are so thin. Player to player, top to bottom. It’s just about confidence and attitude and playing the game that you have the capability to play.”
After Saturday’s win, Lyon was given the honorary helmet for player of the game by his teammates in the jubilant locker room.
Weekend at Provy’s. Ivan Provorov’s weekend: 27 minutes, 13 seconds against Crosby & Malkin on Friday, 27 minutes even against MacKinnon and Rantanen on Saturday. He was -1 against Pittsburgh, +3 against Colorado. Monday will be his 299th consecutive game since entering the league. Claude Giroux also hasn’t missed a game since the start of the 2016-17 season.
Decision time. Coach Alain Vigneault thinks Shayne Gostisbehere will be ready to play Monday, which means another defenseman will need to come out. Robert Hagg seems like the logical choice, but it could be a rotational thing. Hagg hasn’t been bad out there and gives the Flyers back-end some extra snarl, which could come in handy when they play at Washington on Saturday.
Raffl ticket. Vigneault stayed with the lines he juggled at the end of Friday’s game at Pittsburgh. Joel Farabee and Tyler Pitlick moved up and Michael Raffl was dropped to the fourth line with Nic Aube-Kubel and Connor Bunnaman.
Three & out. The official three stars from Saturday night were Kevin Hayes, Joel Farabee and Sean Couturier. The Inquirer’s three stars were Alex Lyon, Couturier and Hayes.