Six observations from the Flyers’ 5-2 loss Sunday to the New York Islanders:
- The Flyers’ second power-play unit — composed of Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, Nolan Patrick, Jordan Weal and Ivan Provorov — was better than their first unit during the team’s 3-2-3 preseason, buzzing around the net and creating numerous chances. This second unit looks much improved from last year. The first unit — Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Val Filppula and Shayne Gostisbehere — struggled to find a rhythm in the preseason, but it finally got in sync in its last few chances Sunday. The unit produced a goal by Simmonds, who tipped in a Gostisbehere shot. Filppula has replaced Brayden Schenn, who tied for the NHL lead with 17 power-play goals last season.
- If this was a dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s opener, why wasn’t Sam Morin or Travis Sanheim in the lineup?
- Based on the preseason, second-year winger Konecny is going to have a breakout season. He was one of the Flyers’ best players in the preseason.
- New goalie Brian Elliott looked sharp in the preseason — until Sunday, when he allowed four goals, including two soft ones.
- I think coach Dave Hakstol will give the Giroux experiment about 10 games before he decides whether to keep him at left wing or move him back to center. In other words, the line needs to produce quickly.
- The fourth line — Scott Laughton centering Taylor Leier and Michael Raffl — produced a goal and some other quality chances in Sunday’s loss and was the Flyers’ best unit. The line had great chemistry in camp. The Flyers have good balance in their four lines, an improvement from last season.