December 08, 2016
Sometimes, the NHL regular season can feel like a slog. Heck, that describes the first month of the Flyers season fairly well. But sometimes, once in a while, the Wells Fargo Center is treated to some legitimate fun and the building sounds a lot like late May in early December.
Take Thursday night’s game between the Flyers and Edmonton Oilers. Down 2-0 in the second period, the Orange and Black scored three goals in a matter of 72 seconds. Un, deux, trois. Three straight shots. After Claude Giroux’s one-timer from Jake Voracek gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead, the building was indeed lit:
On the next shift after that explosion, the crowd treated any offensive zone time like an open three-pointer. They expected the puck to go in the net.
(Believe it or not, they didn’t even come close to the fastest three goals in franchise history. That number is 35 seconds, which happened in 1979. Jim Watson was involved.)
These are the types of things that happen when you’re the hottest team in the NHL, and the Flyers are very much that. They won their seventh in a row, 6-5, the franchise's longest such streak since 2011. But man, it didn't come easy.
After the Flyers scored those three goals, they gave three back fairly quickly (but not 72 seconds quickly) and midway through the third period, the Oilers had a 5-3 lead. But on a night when there was subpar defense and goaltending from both teams, no lead was safe. The Flyers battled back, with goals from Voracek and Giroux to tie the game up.
It just felt like one of those "last goal wins" kind of nights from the beginning. And with less than two minutes left, Michael Raffl broke the deadlock with an excellent power move:
• Connor McDavid doesn’t particularly care for Brandon Manning: If you’ll recall, Manning’s hit caused the NHL’s next megastar to miss a sizable chunk of his rookie year. Early in the game, the two players got into a scrum. And then after McDavid made the score 2-0 on the power play, he had some words for Manning, who happened to be on the ice:
You do not need a PhD in lip reading to understand what Connor McDavid called Brandon Manning (whose hit injured him last season). pic.twitter.com/tFBQMKAxOd— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) December 9, 2016
After the game, McDavid had some harsh words for Manning:
McDavid called #Flyers' Brandon Manning "classless" postgame, said Manning hinted on ice collarbone fracture last year was no accident— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 9, 2016
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann