The league’s advocates will call this weekend a success despite the hiccups. The cynics will call this a mistake on the lake. Two games in two days on a makeshift rink was asking for trouble.
The Philadelphia Flyers will call it a wasted trip.
Carter Hart’s struggles against the Bruins continued as Boston scored three goals in a second-period burst that turned a competitive game into a 7-3 Flyers loss.
Boston has won all five meetings against the Flyers, including two blowouts in which Hart gave up six goals in each game. He’s 0-2-2 against the Bruins with a 5.32 goals-against average. His GAA against everyone else is 2.73, still a little high.
The Flyers are 0-3-2 against Boston, 8-1-1 against everyone else. They were outscored 4-0 in the second period and outshot 15-3.
David Pastrnak scored in the first minute in each of the first two periods, morale-breaking goals that kept the Flyers skating uphill. He added a late third-period goal. Pastrnak has six goals in three games against Philadelphia. Consider that only three Flyers have as many as six goals all season.
Sean Couturier, Joel Farabee and James van Riemsdyk scored for the Flyers. Farabee’s goal was his eighth of the season, matching his rookie total from last season in 52 games.
Van Riemsdyk, who set a record by playing in his seventh outdoor game, also picked up his 500th career assist on Farabee’s first-period goal. His teams are 3-4 playing outside.
The Flyers’ disappointment in losing their second consecutive game should be assuaged by the fact that most of their best forwards were back in the Philadelphia area on COVID-19 protocol.
It was just one hurdle the team faced in coming 2,600 miles to play the division leader and last year’s only 100-point team.
The Flyers were missing forwards Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom and Jake Voracek, plus defenseman Justin Braun, and neither team got to practice on the ice at Lakewood Tahoe Resort ahead of a game whose start time kept moving.
Originally slated to begin at noon Pacific time, the puck dropped just before 5 p.m.
The Bruins, who were missing five key players, had the same problems, so throw any excuses into the lake.
Brian Elliott came in to finish the game after Hart was yanked after the second period.
There is something about coming out West that doesn’t agree with the Flyers, who went 2-9-1 in games on this side of the Mississippi last season. This season, they weren’t supposed to leave the Eastern time zone until the NHL decided to play some games in this resort town.
It was an attempt by the league to generate interest now that the NFL season has ended. (Wait, does the NFL season ever end?) Outdoor rink, beautiful scenery, hockey back to the way it was when these players were kids.
As far as the Flyers are concerned, they’d have been better off staying home.