Sidney Crosby was booed. This, you knew. Here’s some stuff you might not have known about the Flyers’ 3-0 victory over the Penguins on Tuesday night.
Joel Farabee turns 20 next month. This is worth noting for a couple of reasons. One, he was the Flyers’ best forward for most of Tuesday’s game. He picked up the secondary assist on Jake Voracek’s goal early in the second period. He freed himself for a breakaway in the first period, though his shot sailed over the net. Coach Alain Vigneault put him on a line with Voracek and Sean Couturier, and not only did Farabee appear comfortable with them, but that line created more scoring chances than any other Flyers line Tuesday.
Two, if he continues to play like this, or better than this, he will be here for a long while, and be an important and productive part of the Flyers’ present and future. They need that. Oskar Lindblom might never play hockey again. General manager Chuck Fletcher has said he is optimistic that Nolan Patrick will return this season from his migraine disorder. But there’s no guarantee that Patrick will come back, and as it was, he had been underwhelming during his first two seasons in the NHL after the Flyers selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft.
At the moment, the Patrick pick looks to be a huge miss, and to overcome a squandered opportunity like that one, to overcome the failure to draft a superstar in a spot where superstars are drafted, the Flyers will need another young player to develop into a special one. Travis Konecny, headed to this season’s All-Star Game, might be on his way. Farabee, who entered Tuesday with five goals in 39 games this season, has some growing to do, but at least it appears possible that he can get there.
For every chorus of boos that greeted Crosby whenever he touched the puck, there was a chant of “MOOOSE” raining from the Wells Fargo Center stands. Brian Elliott (“Moose” is his nickname, in case you didn’t pick up on the connection) was that good for the Flyers on Tuesday, making 19 saves, including a chest save on a point-black shot by Bryan Rust midway through the third period. Over his last three games, all victories, Elliott has stopped 83 of the 87 shots he has faced.
It makes you wonder, though: If Elliott had managed to stay healthy each of the two previous seasons, how much different would things have turned out for the Flyers? Would they have beaten the Penguins in the 2018 playoffs? Would they have made the playoffs last season? Would Ron Hextall and Dave Hakstol still be here? Just a fun thought experiment.
Did some asking around, and was able to find out who didn’t vote for Derek Jeter for the Hall of Fame: