Says Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic:
On Tuesday, the Flyers sent an inferior-on-paper roster to Long Island to face an Islanders club that dressed a large number of projected starters.
Surprisingly, the Flyers hung tough and arguably outplayed the Isles, at least until the third period when New York started to really take advantage of the talent gap.
On Thursday, the narrative was reversed for the Flyers — despite dressing their two best forwards, a bunch of high-end prospects and five of their six probable Game 1 defensemen, the Bruins took Philly to the cleaners on the whole.
The Flyers closed the overall shot and chance gap a bit due to drawing five penalties on Boston while the Bruins could only generate two power plays of their own; however, the Flyers could not light the lamp with any of their man-advantage opportunities, and continued to trail in all of the key categories despite the extra attack time. It all came down to 5-on-5 play — Boston led in shot attempts by a whopping 63-33 margin, and had a solid 2.16-1.77 edge in Expected Goals. That’s less than ideal, especially with Boston’s best forwards on the night being Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle.
The Flyers’ less-than-stellar 5-on-5 work may qualify as a disappointment, but it’s still only preseason. They also have the legitimate excuse of being in the process of learning a new system under a new coaching staff. “We’re doing a lot of thinking out there instead of knowing exactly what we’re going to do,” Vigneault said. “It’s going to take a little bit of time. We got to show some patience, but we got a lot of work to do like I mentioned a few times. We’re going to do it.”
They’ve got another two weeks.