Flyers youngsters took center stage in first preseason win over Bruins


The Flyers kicked off their preseason last night with, well, maybe not quite a dominating win over the Bruins, but it was a win at least. As with the rookie opener last weekend, it took a little while for everyone to get going, and special teams weather made it difficult to establish a significant flow for the stretches, but the Flyers looked great, made the most of their opportunities and were able to come away with a 2-1 victory. And, carrying the momentum from their pair of wins in those rookie games, it was the younger Flyers who did the heavy lifting in this one.

Felix Sandstrom started and played the first half of the game, and he was perfect in that streak, stopping all 17 shots he faced and holding off four Bruins power plays well, including a brief 5-on-3 He looked comfortable for the most part and was able to get the skaters out of a few shady situations when they were struggling to get the puck out on their own side (that way they were really looking to get in shape at mid -season).

The Flyers — in an admittedly satisfying turn of events — got their score from the Cates brothers. Noah Cates opened the scoring for the game with a goal on the 5-on-3 power play (a power play that overall, and for the first time in about a millennium, moved the puck well and had the looks quite dangerous).

He really kicked off from the second half as well, driving the offense more distinctly and showing good Tyson Foerster chemistry, especially on the power play.

Speaking of Foerster, his game was a little calmer compared to what we saw from him last weekend, but he was still able to bring some flash. We got some looks at his one-timer while he was on the power play, and he made a really nice play in traffic, late in the game, and got a nice scoring chance, even though he was ‘t able to convert on it.

The game-winning goal therefore came from Jackson Cates after some good work from a few defensemen – Ronnie Attard got the puck on the ice and into the offensive zone and the Flyers were able to get a bit of a cycle in course, getting the puck to Egor Zamula for a shot from the point, then Cates was just in the right place in the slot to deflect that shot.

And that’s still not the end of our star list. Cam York made his usual level of strong contributions to the team’s transition play. Morgan Frost was tied for the team lead in scoring chances (along with the Cates Brothers). Olle Lycksell continued to flash in his underhandedness, created a very nice scoring chance for Foerster in the slot behind the net, and got his own scoring chance on a powerful move towards the net, and showed that he n It’s not hard to hold on physically at this level.

We also saw a bit of physicality – Wade Allison came on to Antoine Roussel’s defense (with closer to half a fight) after being leveled by an open ice kick, then Hayden Hodgson dropped the gloves after he made a big box along the boards.

Now, did we particularly need to see someone fight in the very first game of the preseason? Not particularly. As fans and outside reviewers, that doesn’t move the needle much. But for a team that’s building strongly and prioritizing toughness this season, that physicality and willingness to commit to the tough stuff will likely go a long way in making a strong impression on a magpie-like leadership group for that. sort of thing.

So it was the youth movement again that led the charge, and while we want to add some qualifying to that, it was the first pre-season game and we want to avoid making sweeping claims based on that, and also by pure volume. in the ratio of young players to veterans in this game, the young players had a better chance to stand out – that doesn’t negate the good work these players did. There was a lot to love about those performances and good first impressions for a lot of the players fighting to get the team out of camp.

And what should we learn from it? It’s still early days, of course, but the kids are already starting to make the management look a bit silly. The team aimed to age a bit, bringing in veterans through proper signings and PTOs as insurance for an already battered team, but at first these players – Anisimov, Roussel, Belpedio, even Grosenick – didn’t didn’t look as good. as much as we might have expected, especially against a Bruins team made up largely of young players.

Now the commitment to these players is low, and having them here for a bit of extra competition at camp is certainly not a bad thing, but the youngsters are showing their merit faster. And if things continue to follow this trend, it will be hard to justify not embracing the youth movement for this season.

The team thinks they can be competitive and win a few games and plan to build for that? Agreed, the most qualified recruits will give you the best chance of making it.

What if it looks like things are going to get tough again? Great, let’s get as many potential NHL reps in so the team is in a better position to bounce back next year (with a shiny new draft pick, ideally).

We’ll see how things develop as we move through the preseason, but this was about as strong a first look as we could have asked for a good percentage of the Flyers prospect pool.

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