It’s Awfully Angsty in Philadelphia

Top player from Tuesday in the NHL

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lyn

Andrei Vasilevskiy got his first shutout of the 2021-22 NHL season on Tuesday. In doing so, Vasilevskiy pushed his save percentage to .924, just a stroke after last season’s impressive .925 (which I also managed in 2018-19). Vasilevskiy got his first shutout of the season by making all 34 saves.

He has now won four of his last five matches, which has shifted his overall record to 9-3-3.

Ideally, Lightning would be able to eventually rest Vasilevskiy at some point. He has been an absolute workhorse since the Bolts won repeated Stanley Cups. If Tampa Bay wants him to continue that game, keep in mind that it would be best if he was reasonably fresh.

Such a topic may be easier to pick up later in the season, as Lightning has to lean on Vasilevskiy and other stars with Nikita Kucherov and Brayden pointing out for a long time.

Fortunately, Steven Stamko’s is healthy, which is also how one can describe his production. With three points on Tuesday, Stamkos improved to 22 points (10G, 12A) in 18 games this season.

Tuesday NHL Highlights: Lightning – Flyers, Stars – Oilers, Blackhawks – Flames

With just three NHL games on Tuesday, let’s enjoy full highlights.

For Flyers fans, it was mostly lowlights against Lightning. (More on that soon.)

The Stars finished Connor McDavid’s points series and won comfortably:

Finally, a couple of empty net goals made the Flames’ 5-2 win over the Blackhawks look more skewed. Nevertheless, Calgary has now won four in a row and generally continues to look for genuine:

Tuesday’s NHL takeaways

It’s Awfully Angsty in Philadelphia

With 8-6-3 after losing to Lightning, the Flyers are far from inspiring. Losing three in a row and four of their last five will not put a smile on many Flyers fans.

But by browsing social media, even before Lightning shut out the Flyers, everything seemed … bleak. Granted, I was not entirely alone in wondering why there was terrible anxiety in Philadelphia.

No doubt the shutout loss to Lightning will not improve the case for Flyers fans. However, it was clear that this was not about a game. Or even a bad stretch.

Instead, it’s primarily about bad vibes. Fatigue so far, it looks like it’s not their year again.

To some extent, it seems that patience is running out. When I look at their schedule, I wonder if about a month (early December to early January) could end up being a crucial stretch.

From December 8 to January 4, the Flyers play nine out of 12 away games. It’s tough, but on paper, the Flyers face teams that they should be able to beat if they really are playoff material. They take on opponents like the California teams, the Kraken, the Devils (twice), the Coyotes, intermediate Canadian teams and the hated penguins.

For Flyers fans, this team is insanely inadequate. As an outsider, Flyers mostly seem … confusing? Nonsense and in the middle of the road? In fact, it may be part of the frustration.

Hockey teams just love to overload their jerseys with black

Back in 2017, Uni Watchs Paul Lukas wondered if sports teams could finally stop adding black to their uniforms sometimes apparently just because. As Lukas notes, sports teams have really increased the trend of wearing black uniform / jersey / jersey for decades. If you’re like me, with this Sabers look, Dominik Hasek is one of the first images that comes to mind:

(Photo by Graig Abel / Getty Images)

Well, if that trend is out there in major sports, it just feels like it’s taking a little break in the NHL and hockey in general. Tuesday gave reminders that NHL / hockey teams have not shaken that habit when the Devils unveiled these… jerseys.

While Team Canada’s (over) use of black was undoubtedly even more confusing.

Granted, there have been worse designs. The Devils even made fun of their looks with a hat that says “hat”. None of the looks qualify as a disaster (though the Canadian duds can hurt the eyes a touch).

Yet, in addition to those who answer “Who cares?”, One of the answers was, “Why?” Destroying “because money” doesn’t even work properly, as these devices could always have … you know, gone with something else.

Either way, you can not really say that hockey teams are “Back in Black” if the look never really left.

Stars stop McDavid’s streak, stop Draisaitl and Oilers

In the long run, Stars may have some questions to answer. There is still more evidence that Rick Bowness may be in control of the short-term things. Or, if it’s too much, the stars at least show signs of life.

After beating the Blues 4-1 on Saturday, the Stars won with the same 4-1 score vs. Oilers. Braking Leon Draisaitl (one assist) and Connor McDavid (zero points) is impressive in itself. McDavid has been pretty unstoppable after all, but his series of points ended. Bob Stauffer notes McDavid’s streaks as 17 games (since the start of the season) and 25 from last season.

Over the last five games, the Stars have earned four wins – all with three goals. Their one loss was ugly (7-2 to Wild), though Dallas’ underlying numbers already at the time pointed to subtle signs of improvement.

With 8-7-2, Stars still have a long way to go again. However, do not count them either.

Wednesday’s big story

Will the hated Rangers increase the islanders’ problems?

Islanders and Rangers fans do not like each other. There are story-soaked songs about this.

With the Islanders finally comfortably anchored in a home that truly feels like a home, the rivalry can get some extra juice. Of course, it would help if both teams could warm up at the same time.

Still, when they get into Wednesday’s NHL games, the Islanders are scattered in the middle of a six-game losing streak. They have lost their first two games in their shiny, new home.

The hated Rangers would not love anything more to rub the islanders nose in it so much more. Conversely, it would be so much sweeter for the Islanders to earn their first win in their new home against the Rangers. This should be a fun way to approach a short vacation break.

Sunday’s NHL score

Line 4, Flyers 0
Stars 4, Oilers 1
Flames 5, Blackhawks 2

James O’Brien is the author of Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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