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GREENBERG: Best of the Week

Flyers columnist looks at the moments that stood out this past week

by Jay Greenberg @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Play - Matt Read stripped Dustin Byfuglien at the point, chased the puck down the sideboards and dove to throw it past Josh Morrissey to Michael Raffl steaming up the middle. Raffl scored to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead over the Jets. Assist of the year so far, not just of the week.

Video: WPG@PHI: Raffl finishes Read's diving feed

Flyer - Raffl for the second consecutive week. Buried the setup from Read, had a nice pull to the backhand for a rebound and a second goal in two games.  

Defenseman - Ivan Provorov. After a tough stretch, we're starting to see the head for the game that eventually will make him an anchor.

Defensive Play - By Steve Mason. Pokecheck as Erik Karlsson tried to feed across to Kyle Turris on two-man breakaway in the final minute against Ottawa. Karlsson and Turris got too careful and in too close. Nevertheless, Mason played it just right, a minute after he had just given up a bad goal to Turris to tie the game. It saved the Flyers a point.

Play by a Defenseman - Brandon Manning had a breakup in the neutral zone, fed Nick Cousins, then screened off the last defender on the center's breakaway goal in the Winnipeg win.

Shot - Sean Couturier elevated from just 14 feet to hit the top corner on Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck's stick side for game-opening goal in 5-2 win.

Video: WPG@PHI: Couturier scores with top-shelf finish

Save - Mason, full extension glove on Nikolaj Ehlers as Flyers were hanging on to a 3-2 lead against the Jets. Another Mason made later on Patrik Laine was almost as good.

Video: WPG@PHI: Mason turns Ehlers aside on breakaway chance

Refusal to Give In - Mason beat himself up for the Turris wrap-around goal that denied the Flyers a point against Ottawa, but then made that two-on-zero stop to get the game to overtime, followed by four saves in the shootout. 

Bounce - Andrew MacDonald's point drive after a clean faceoff win by Brayden Schenn, deflected right to Wayne Simmonds, who reached around Toby Enstrom to score against Winnipeg.

Red Herring - The power play. Any game it gets shutout, the failure becomes the first blame for the loss, which is ridiculous. The PP, third in the league at 25 percent, has not only been the best thing about this team so far, but consistently top 10 in the NHL since Joe Mullen was hired in 2007.

Reasons Not to Panic - Team is improved offensively with addition of Travis Konecny and revival of Jake Voracek. It wasn't until January last season that the Flyers came together in all zones to begin successful playoff drive.  

Reason to Be Concerned - Two teams that did not make the playoffs a year ago­-Columbus and New Jersey-are holding the two wild card spots, with games in hand on Philadelphia. Four more clubs the Flyers beat out a year ago to squeeze into the eighth spot-Ottawa, Toronto, Carolina, and Buffalo-are improved. Only two posteseason teams from 2015-16 (Detroit and the Islanders) appear worse.  

Coaching Move - Scratching Shayne Gostisbehere for a game. Not sure he has played any more poorly in the defensive end than some others and that certainly includes forwards. But a shock treatment here and there has been known to catch everybody's attention, not just the player singled out.

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