By Nat Marlowe
The 2019-2020 Philadelphia Flyers tied for a franchise record best in the month of November with an Overtime Win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday afternoon. Among all 31 NHL teams, the Flyers earned the most points in the standings for the month of November acquiring 24 out of a possible 32. They currently sit at third place in the Metropolitan Division, and have been gaining ground against the second place New York Islanders, and first place Washington Capitals.
Forward Travis Konecny remains the Flyers top point getter with 25 points total, while Oskar Lindblom leads his team in goals scored with 11 so far. Captain Claude Giroux has remained strong offensively with 8 goals and 11 assists for 19 points, and Sean Couturier has continued to impress as one of the top two-way forwards in the NHL. Jakub Voracek has been overcoming some early season struggles by scoring at least 1 point in 4 out of his past 5 games. This November also saw the debut of Morgan Frost, who scored a goal in each of his first two NHL games.
Even with the forwards playing well, defense and goaltending have been securing the wins for the Flyers this season. The Flyers have yet to give up a goal in 5-minute 3-on-3 overtime periods. On top of this, they’ve only allowed 73 goals against through the first 27 games of the season. Only five other teams in the NHL have allowed fewer goals than the Flyers. The goaltending tandem of Carter Hart and Brian Elliot have been playing terrific, and picked up their performance in net compared to how they started the season. Hart improved from a 3.32 goals allowed average and .864 save percentage in the month of October to a 1.94 GAA and .927 save percentage for the month of November. Meanwhile, Elliott had a 3.10 GAA and .904 save percentage in October, yet improved to a 2.38 GAA and .926 save percentage for his November games.
The blue line has also made some leaps and bounds, with players like Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun helping out Hart and Elliott. They’ve been able to transition the puck out of their own zone, and have been putting several points on the board as result. Defenseman Ivan Provorov scored the best goal of his career by deking the puck through his own legs to get around Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi, and caught goaltender Keith Kinkaid cold to win it for the Flyers in Overtime on Saturday afternoon. Even Shayne Gostisbehere who was healthy scratched for two games due to poor play was able to score a goal in his first game back against the Detroit Red Wings. Rookie defenseman Phillippe Myers had a three game goal streak, and currently leads the team in +/- with a +9 in 14 games played.
The aggressive moves by GM Chuck Fletcher and the coaching style of Head Coach Alain Vigneault have served the Flyers well for the beginning of this season. Whether or not they can continue this success for the rest of the season has yet to be determined, but the Flyers have been giving fans something to cheer for once again outside of Gritty.