2 games under the belt for the Philadelphia Flyers, 2 victories against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Flyers fans could not be happier. Specifically, the offense has come to life early in the season, with 11 goals in the pair of games. The entire team looks like a well-oiled machine, but there have been several players that have stood out as key reasons why Philadelphia has looked like a monster early in the season.
Call on Me, Farabee
It would not have shocked me to see someone score four points on opening night for the Flyers. The person that scored it was the part that took me by surprise. After a 21 point season as a 19 year old, Joel Farabee was on track to become one of the breakout candidates for the team heading into this season. For it to happen this quickly, however, was unexpected.
Farabee was a force to be reckoned with during Game 1 against Pittsburgh. Not only did he put up a 2nd period goal on a feed from Kevin Hayes, but he assisted on 3 other Flyers goals that night. To top it off, he shot the puck 4 times on Penguins starting goaltender Tristan Jarry. In 52 games last season, Farabee shot a total of 81 times. If he can keep up this pace this season, he will easily break the 100-shot mark. I’m not expecting Farabee to put up these kinds of numbers every single game, but it’s a really solid start to his sophomore campaign.
A Hatty for Konecny
Much like Joel Farabee two night prior, Travis Konecny also scored four points in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The way he scored those 4 points varied from Farabee’s, and it made Flyers fans grin from ear to ear.
On Friday, Konecny scored his first career hat trick with 2 first period goals and a tally at 12:53 of the third period. Not only that, but he also assisted on an Oskar Lindblom empty netter to put the game away. In case it could not get any better, Konecny did this in only 14:37 of ice time, one of the fewest among Flyers forwards that evening. Only Farabee, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and Michael Raffl had a fewer ice time than TK.
Konecny now leads the team with 5 points in 2 games, assisting on another Lindblom goal on Opening Night. At this pace, Konecny is projected an astounding 116 points this season. I’d fully expect Konecny to cool off a little bit, but the Philly faithful could not ask for a better start to a season from number 11.
A Piece of My Hart
Entering the shortened season, Carter Hart was viewed by many as a favorite for the Vezina trophy. In the 2 games against the Flyers’ Pennsylvania rivals, Hart put up a 2.50 goals against average while putting up a dazzling .925 save percentage. Hart only allowed 5 goals on 67 Penguins shots, a very impressive beginning to his season.
If Hart continues to put up these types of numbers the rest of the season, he should be right in line with his statistics from the previous 2 years. Whether or not it would qualify as numbers that will netch the Flyers their first Vezina trophy since 1987 remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the Flyers will go as far as Carter Hart takes them. He has proven to live up to the hype so far, and if that continues, Philadelphia will be dangerous going forward.
The Hit Parade for Aube-Kubel
Robert Hagg leads the Flyers with nine hits in two games, but it is a forward, not a defenseman, who is just one hit behind him. Nicolas Aube-Kubel has only played in an average of 11:43 of ice time per game. In this short time, Aube-Kubel has put up a total of 8 hits in the 2 games.
NAK has found himself in a comfortable role on a gritty 4th line along with Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl. He even got his first point of the season on Raffl’s third period goal on Opening Night. If his line-mates are producing, Aube-Kubel should see his point total from last year rise. He put up 15 of them in 36 games, and he was rewarded with a 2 year contract extension worth an average of just over 1 million dollars. That could be one of the steals of the offseason if he keeps this up over the course of the 56 game season.
Featured Image Photo Credit to Bruce Bennett, Getty Images