Flyers Focus: Shayne Gostisbehere Makes Instant Impact


The most comprehensive weekly look at the Philadelphia Flyers on the internet.

Lace Up

The wait is finally over (for now). The Flyers have begun to reap the benefits of stud offensive-minded defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere

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The burning question for Ron Hextall and the Flyers over the past couple of seasons has been whether to rush or be patient with the talented prospects in the organization’s control. Gostisbehere became the first player to get an extended look with the big club, yet a talented group will follow in his footsteps in the coming seasons. This should come as no surprise, though, as Gostisbehere is the eldest of the blueline prospect group that includes Sam Morin, Robert Hagg, Travis Sanheim and Ivan Provorov.

Link up that group with 25-year-old Michael Del Zotto and you’ve got a young, able defensive corps that will keep you relevant for the next decade.

Snapping back to reality, this week’s insertion of Gostisbehere into the lineup in place of the injured Mark Streit led to a four point week that included a dramatic overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh and a pair of overtime losses to the Kings and Sharks at the Wells Fargo Center.

Gostisbehere dazzled in his first contest, making a beautiful (albeit dangerous) move at the blue line and firing a snapshot off of Wayne Simmonds to tie the game in Carolina.

In his second appearance of the season, the 22-year-old scored his first NHL goal, ripping a one-time slapshot that rocketed past Kings keeper Jonathan Quick.

Prior to the season, I pondered how long it would take before ‘Ghost’ got a look with the big club. It appears he could be here to stay after impressing in his first legitimate action. He has the support of his head coach and the respect of his teammates. This rendition of the Flyers likely won’t be headed to the playoffs, but Gostisbehere should have a Jahlil Okafor-type effect in that he makes a below-average team watchable again.



An added benefit to seeing Gostisbehere perform now is that it comes during Streit’s absence. This means that the rookie can showcase his skills quarterbacking the team’s power play.  Prior to his arrival, the unit had converted just seven times in 48 opportunities. Gostisbehere spent a team-high 5:38 on the man advantage out of a possible 10 minutes against the Kings.

The unit scored just once on six opportunities in its last two games, but that is a small improvement over the 14.5% rate from the first 16 game of the season. Gostisbehere’s presence at the top of the umbrella is a trend that should continue until (and potentially beyond) Streit’s return. The kid’s got an elite shot, it’s time to unleash it.


Steve Mason just enjoyed his best three-game stretch of the young season. Mason stopped 77 of 82 shots he faced behind a porous defense each of his starts during that stretch resulted in at least one point for the Orange and Black.


The Flyers are now winless in their last six games at the Wells Fargo Center. Their last win on home ice came way back on October 24th, a shootout victory over the New York Rangers. Interestingly enough, that was also the last time a Philadelphia team won a home contest. The Eagles dropped their only home game in that time-frame to the Dolphins on Sunday and the 76ers haven’t won at home (or anywhere) yet this season.

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Given that this occurred just seconds into Thursday’s game against the Sharks, who would guessed that this could have earned the Flyers a point? As it played out, the teams skated to a scoreless tie in the game’s first 60 minutes.The sprawling Schenn is at least partially to thank for the regulation shutout.

Remember what I said about Ghost’s elite shot? Here’s proof.

Thus far on the young season, the Flyers have held two retirement nights (Danny Briere and Simon Gagne, with Rod Brind’Amour’s planned for Monday night vs. Carolina). Gagne was a huge part of the post-lockout Flyers in the mid-2000’s and put up solid, yet unspectacular numbers as a member of the Orange and Black. His biggest moment as a Flyer, right here.

Weekly Awards

Immediate Impact Award – Shayne Gostisbehere

A point in each of his first two games to go with a +1 rating earns Gostisbehere the weekly award.

Trust Me, I’m Gonna Get Hot Award – Jake Voracek

Voracek finally broke his scoring silence on Saturday night in Carolina, capping a comeback and securing two points for the Flyers. Two seasons ago, Claude Giroux didn’t score his first goal until November 9th. After that point, Giroux scored 79 points in 67 games to help lead his team to the playoffs. Could we be in for a repeat from Giroux’s linemate? Stay tuned.

What’s On The Way

The Flyers will travel to Ottawa to play the Senators on Saturday then will host the Hurricanes on Monday night.

Next: ESPN Insiders Think Phillies Will Trade Ken Giles

A nationally televised matchup with the Islanders awaits them on Thanksgiving Eve, as the Flyers will try to take down their divisional foes, the New York Islanders.