WHAT CHANGES CAN WE EXPECT UNDER TORTORELLA? TWO THINGS ARE EVIDENT!

SEP 29, 2022  (0H49)      DAVID MCLEOD
Being only three preseason games into John Tortorella's reign, it is difficult to fully assess what to expect from Tortorella's systems, but if the first three games are any indication, this Flyers team is going to press the puck and play a more aggressive game.

The most noticeable change in the defensive zone are the Flyers wingers playing tighter to the defense and quickly closing the gap up high on the puck. In the past, the Flyers wingers have hovered around the top of the circles and occupied shooting and passing lanes, without pressuring the puck or eliminating time. The focus was on collapsing in the slot and clogging the middle of the ice, but that allowed easy outlets to the defense and caused us to be in the defensive zone for longer periods of time.

What does this change do? It forces the defense to make quicker decisions with the puck and not allow plays to freely develop. Being aggressive on the puck will ultimately result in more turnovers and scrambled plays. It also keeps the opposition D more honest, as they cannot cheat down on the play, otherwise exposing them defensively on turnovers and quick outs.

The power play also has a fresh look. Last season the 32nd ranked power play was predictable and ineffective; working the puck around a stagnant umbrella, without a real triggerman setting up for one-timers. They also stationed TK in the ‘bumper' spot between the hashmarks, but he was nothing more than a decoy. Konecny rarely got shots off from the slot and was nothing more than a give and go option, essentially turning the power play into a four on four.


Rocky Thompson has infused flow into the system and has players rotating positions and cutting through lanes. Consistent movement opens up shooting lanes and has the ability to pull defenders out of position and potentially cause coverage confusion. Steady movement and quick touch passes are a welcome change, from simply moving the puck around the perimeter, from the top of the umbrella to the walls. Deangelo, Provorov, and York also have the ability to flourish in this type of system with their strong edge work walking the blue line. The power play will greatly benefit by taking advantage of players skill sets and creativity.

What else should be expected under Tortorella's watch? Kevin Hayes to excel, as predicted.

Hayes buried the Flyers lone goal on a great look from Owen Tippett. Wade Allison also looked hungry, as evident on the Big Hayes-y snipe. Allison aggressively pressured the puck carrier and caused the turnover that created the odd man look. Allison is quick on the forecheck and uses his large frame to seal defenders and retrieve pucks, something the Flyers need.

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