Coming into Saturday night’s game, the Philadelphia Flyers defense was leading the league in points with 46. After an assist from Brandon Manning and a goal from Michael Del Zotto in a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, the team now has 48 points from defensemen.
Philadelphia Flyers Defense Leading The Way
The defense for the Flyers has rarely been a strong point for the team. The defense hasn’t been the most sound when it comes to playing in their own end. When it comes to point production, however, they have proven to be consistent there. The Flyers 48 points from defensemen come in the form of 12 goals and 36 assists. That is one more point than Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds combined.
The points aren’t just coming from one or two players either. Every player on the defense has contributed with at least three points. Mark Streit and Shayne Gostisbehere lead the defense with three goals and seven assists apiece.
While there are four forwards ahead of Streit and Gostisbehere when it comes to point production, having that many points just between two defenseman is something a team enjoys. Getting points from up and down the lineup makes for a very balanced offensive output.
Gostisbehere is entering his second season in the NHL. Many were wondering if he would be able to continue the success that he found in his rookie season. With 10 points in 16 games, it’s fair to say that he hasn’t lost his offensive touch. His 10 points also have him tied for fifth among all NHL defensemen.
And it’s not just the points that make Gostisbehere such an impressive player, it’s the plays that he makes on both the offensive and defensive side. Gostisbehere has shown the ability to make up for defensive miscues with his speed. He has been able to help his goaltenders on countless occasions with his defensive play.
Great play by Gostisbehere to poke this one away pic.twitter.com/iomaTmYAt3
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) November 9, 2016
As mentioned before, he has also shown the ability to chip in on the offensive side of the ice as well. His shot from the point is one that the Flyers like to go to whenever they are on the ice. He has proven that his shot can be deadly.
GHOST GOAL pic.twitter.com/4fGrgqZW68
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) October 30, 2016
Streit is also tied for fifth in scoring among NHL defensemen. Streit has also shown the ability to chip in during big moments in the game. The veteran defenseman has tied the game twice for the Flyers within the last minute of games. Talk about coming through in the clutch.
His first came against the Buffalo Sabres on October 25th. The team was down 3-2 before Streit scored the tying goal with 1:51 to go in the third period. It was challenged for goaltender interference before being ruled a good goal (and rightly so).
Another look at the goal. pic.twitter.com/4Q7Wpv1oZj
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) October 26, 2016
The next goal came against the Detroit Red Wings on November 2nd. This one was scored in almost the exact same way. The Flyers were again down 3-2 when Streit would score with 1:41 left in the third period. This was also challenged for goaltender interference, but would end up standing as the tying goal.
Detroit is challenging what would be the tying goal from Mark Streit. pic.twitter.com/T47T69E5is
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) November 3, 2016
Gostisbehere and Streit, along with the Flyers other defensemen, have had their fair share of troubles in their own zone, that really goes without saying. However, their offensive zone production is something that cannot be overlooked. If the defense is able to clean up its play in the defensive zone, big things may continue to come from the players on the ice and for the Philadelphia Flyers organization.