Flyers stock watch: 3 major positives after season-opening party in Vegas


Make it 3 for 3 as the Flyers on Thursday won their third straight season opener — all against Western Conference opponents.

The Flyers are now a perfect 2-0 in Vegas following a 5-2 victory over the Golden Knights.

Let's look at three players who saw a boost in their stock:

Wayne Simmonds
In what has become a theme over the past four years, Simmonds is off to a scorching start by adding a pair of goals. He scored in his only preseason action and then found the back of the net twice against the Golden Knights.

Despite playing just 9:28 at even strength, the fewest of all Flyers forwards, Simmonds still played effective minutes working with a pair of new linemates — James van Riemsdyk and rookie Mikhail Vorobyev.

The Flyers' power forward is still a force on the power play as he jammed a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury, and while Simmonds still needs a few more games to work out all the rust, it didn’t hold him back physically, leading the Flyers with seven hits.

Brian Elliott
Slowly eased into the regular season through a cautious, diligent preseason workload, Elliott took a significant step toward feeling 100 percent ready after stopping 26 of 27 shots against the Bruins in the final exhibition game. Elliott followed up with a 23-save performance while holding the Golden Knights to two goals by winning his second straight season opener. Elliott was poised and didn’t overextend his movements against a Vegas team that prefers quick, east-west puck movement.

Where the Flyers will need to lean on Elliott more so this season comes on the penalty kill, and against the Golden Knights he delivered. The Flyers' goaltender made two key saves during a 5-on-3 penalty kill, and after Pierre Edouard-Bellemare scored shorthanded, Elliott didn’t surrender that momentum-changing goal that would have given the Knights some third-period life. 

Robert Hagg
It was looking like at the end of last week Hagg could be the odd man out to start the season as he was paired with Mark Friedman, but his training camp and preseason progressively improved from week to week and now he’s feeling more confident to assert himself offensively, jumping into the play and snapping a shot past Fleury.

Hagg fired three shots on net, which led all Flyers defensemen, and he was his typical physical presence defensively as he was credited with six hits while trying to mask some of the mistakes on the back end by playing partner Andrew MacDonald.

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