Team unity, confidence key to Flyers’ streak

Owen Tippett

      It’s not quite on a par with the season-closing nine-game winning streak near the end of the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 campaign but it’s getting there.

      The surprising current nine-game streak with at least a point (8-0-1) has vaulted the Flyers into second place in the Metropolitan Division and in hot pursuit of the equally surprising New York Rangers.

      Raise your hand if you had New York and Philadelphia situated Nos. 1-2 in the NHL standings after 30-something games. Didn’t think so.

      Just about the only people not caught off-guard by this stretch of strong performances are the players themselves.

      Heading into Thursday night’s home game against Nashville, it’s difficult to find a player unwilling to rave about how close the Flyers’ locker room is. There doesn’t seem to be a single prima donna in the bunch.

      “In the NHL, it’s about consistency in this league and I think night-in, night-out, that’s what we do,” said Ryan Poehling after his two-goal performance in Tuesday night’s 3-2 overtime win at New Jersey.

      After a somewhat slow start this season, Owen Tippett has really put his game in gear, with four goals in his last eight games, including the overtime winner at The Rock.

      One gets the impression the Flyers are having fun proving the prognosticators wrong.

      “I don’t think anyone really expected us this,” Tippett said. “But the guys in this room are pulling in the same direction. It’s a lot of fun when you’re winning. We all want the same end goal. We don’t quit until the game is over.”

      Without a doubt goaltender Samuel Ersson has played a big part in this streak, currently enjoying a personal eight-game point streak, (7-0-1). Carter Hart’s playing status seems to be a day-to-day thing due to illness. Ersson is playing some of his best hockey since getting a trial with the team last year.

      “It’s fun,” Ersson said of the streak. “The confidence is growing in our locker room. We’re having a lot of fun but as I’ve said, I think it’s important for us as a group to know how important it is to stay in the moment, take it game-by-game, just not get ahead of ourselves.

      “We have a couple more games (Nashville at home Thursday, at Detroit on Friday) until the Christmas break, so just focus on that.”

      >Short shots

      Travis Konecny has eight multi-goal efforts in the Flyers’ 31 games. . .Ersson has now allowed opponents three or less goals in 11 of the 13 games he has played. . .The win over New Jersey was the 1,496th victory of coach John Tortorella’s career. He needs just four more to become the eighth coach in NHL history to hit the 1,500 mark. The victory also tied him with ex-Flyers coach Alain Vigneault for 10th place on the NHL’s alltime list. . .The Flyers increased their point streak on the road to six games (5-0-1). It’s the longest streak away from home since they went 7-0-1 during a stretch from Feb. 6-March 3, 2018. . .Flyers are 14-1-2 when scoring three-plus goals in a game this season. . .The Flyers lead the NHL in road wins since Nov. 3. . .Philadelphia’s six overtime-shootout wins are second to the seven compiled by Toronto and Montreal.

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About Wayne Fish 2451 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.