The storyline couldn't have been drawn up any more perfect for Flyers prospect Jason Akeson.
Playing in his home town, Akeson made his NHL debut in the final game of the 2013 season, a 2-1 win for the Flyers against the Ottawa Senators. What made the moment even more sweet for Akeson was the fact he scored his first NHL goal in that game as well.
“Just playing in an NHL game was something special; something I’ll always remember,” Akeson said. “And to score a goal, it makes it that much more special.”
Just three minutes and 46 seconds into the game, Akeson found the back of the net, scoring the game's first goal. It was just the second shift of his NHL career.
(Photo: Jake Akeson holds up his 1st NHL goal puck. Photo courtesy of the Flyers Facebook/Twitter page)
The Flyers are stuck somewhere between last place and a playoff spot. The next five games, all home, will be the final telling on whether or not this is a playoff team, or a team destined to draft high.
It has been very apparent that the Flyers have struggled to get a consistent effort from any of their forwards this season.
Top players like Danny Briere and Claude Giroux have struggled, young players like Tye McGinn have been taken in and out of the lineup, and enforcers like Tom Sestito have made lineup changes even more interesting. It’s tough to think of a player that has provided a consistent effort while performing his specific role.
When you get down to it, Zac Rinaldo may very well be your guy.
(Pictured: Zac Rinaldo reacts after scoring in the third period on Monday. AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Six wins, nine regulation losses, one shootout loss, 13 points. That’s where the Flyers stand one third of the way through the season. The record is not very good, but is the team bad or are they going through bad luck? Digging into the numbers suggests it is a bit of both.
Scott Hartnell’s return to the Flyers lineup is inevitable.
Certainly it’s going to be a huge bonus getting back the team’s leader in goals scored last season with _. But a bit of a dilemma will hit head coach Peter Laviolette when his star left-winger does return.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, the guys for them who are playing their best hockey are the guys who aren’t doing the scoring. And those who need to step their game up and perform better are those relied upon to put the puck in the back of the net.
(Pictured: Mike Knuble battles for a puck on February 11. Chris Young/The Canadian Press/AP)
24 saves by Ilya Bryzgalov, a rejuvenated defensive effort and two assists by Jakub Voracek propelled the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The Jets swarmed the Flyers early. Amongst a deafening chorus of "Il-ya" chants from the Winnipeg faithful, a bank off the end boards took an odd hop and Bryzgalov stretched out to make a great save on Bryan Little to keep the game scoreless early.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov makes a save in the 2nd period. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Trevor Hagan)