The Philadelphia Flyers gave up a lucrative package to acquire Rasmus Ristolainen In July. They gave out the first-round pick of the 2021 NHL draft, the second-round pick of 2023, and the former eighth overall pick of the defenseman Robert Hagg, who was in the Buffalo Sabres. Underperformed for most of the eight seasons. Their bets were faster than expected.
Ristolainen, the flyer punishes the flame
The Flyers defeated the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, which is exactly the type of game they envisioned in their mission. “More difficult to deal with” This offseason. Ristolainen ended the night with 9 hits, 3 blocks and 1 assist. His agile play on the blue line prevented Kevin Hayes from trying to clear the field, thus tying the game. However, his contribution goes far beyond the scoring table.
Matthew Tkachuk And the Flames played freely in the first stage, especially on the crease of goalkeeper Carter Hart. For the rest of the game, Christolainen led the team to kill the pesky spoiler and his teammates in the defensive zone. He even prevented Tekachuk from attempting a gorgeous lacrosse move from behind the trapeze net in the third quarter. When asked about his defenders stepping up to protect the crease, Hart praised them.
“I like that. It shows how much we care and compete. Covered a few hockey pucks and they tried to put some sticks there. The boys supported me. I like to see that. As a goalkeeper, I really do Appreciate this.”
Ristolainen played a similar role in the formidable Washington Capitals game on November 6. His reversal hit the terrible tough guy Tom Wilson, because the second quarter horn sounded, setting the tone for the strict inspection of the third quarter and Philadelphia’s victory. Flyer Color Commentator Keith Jones When attending the Jeff Marek show as a guest last week, he pointed out that Ristolainen “started to wear flyer uniforms more comfortably.” When Marek referred to the “old school” style of the Metropolitan Division, he emphasized that 6-foot-4 defensive players need to be tough to match a larger, stronger team.
Chuck Fletcher I also talked about Ristolainen on the Flyers Daily podcast last week. When asked about the bad tendencies of his defensive players in Buffalo, he admitted that he expected “it will take some time to break these habits.” However, Ristolainen played a high-level game, playing only 12 games. The general manager of the flyer should be satisfied.
The Red Flag of Ristolainen
Critics of Fletcher’s acquisition of Ristolainen point out that advanced indicators are an indicator of his problems in Buffalo. Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart, three of his most talented former Sabre teammates, when playing with Ristolainen, Corsi For percentage (CF%), expected goal percentage (xG For%) and actual goals The percentages have dropped sharply. From 2018-19 to 2020-21, he kept his balance on the ice (from The Athletic, Flyers all-in on Rasmus Ristolainen: Is he worth the huge price GM Chuck Fletcher paid?, 7/ 24/21).
When Ristolainen’s error caused him to score two goals in the Flyers’ debut against the Boston Bruins, this concern quickly became reasonable. In the next three games, he made some hasty possession errors in the defensive zone. However, since then, he has made considerable progress.
Fletcher hopes that a new environment and a more limited role can help Ristolainen and highlight the strength and physicality he brings to the ice.In a limited sample of 12 games from 2021-22, the positive CF% of the Finnish Blue team is 51.82, and the xG For% is 52.08. According to Natural Statistics SkillsSince the start of the season, his time on ice has gradually increased, and considering his time per game, he may continue to play for about 20 minutes. Ryan Ellis was injured recently.
Fletcher admitted in an interview that “everyone has ups and downs.” Ristolainen will need to continue to build chemistry with his offensive partner Travis Sanheim. He needs to selectively choose moments to increase his physical strength. On Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes, he disagreed with Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s batting against Sunheim. He left his position to chase the cane and gave Teuvo Teräväinen a high-quality scoring opportunity in the third quarter draw.
Before considering expanding his role or extending his contract, Flyers need to see continued high-level competition. However, since his physical performance in Tuesday’s game against the Fire team highlighted his accelerated growth at the beginning of the season, the early return of the Ristolainen experiment officially looks huge.
Colin Newby is a freelance journalist based in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, covering Philadelphia flyers for hockey writers. He is a useless encyclopedia of sports knowledge, with incredible ability to get trapeze goalkeeper statistics from 2004 and every Stanley Cup champion in his life.His profound knowledge stems from the fact that he has been following Flyers and NHL all his life, from fan favorites such as Destruction Legion and Claude Giroud Unknown people like Andy Delmore and Blanco Radivojevic. Colin also wrote fictional sports stories and covered the Philadelphia Eagles.