Different. If there’s been one unifying theme offered by the Philadelphia Flyers from the conclusion of the 2020-21 season to the beginning of the 2021-22 marketing campaign, it’s been one easy promise: We’re going to be completely different.

It wasn’t simply common supervisor Chuck Fletcher’s aggressive strategy to the offseason. It was his memorable “We can’t keep bringing the same players back and expect different results” quote, which not solely tersely summed up his overarching philosophy but in addition tellingly led off the first hype video performed on the Wells Fargo Center jumbotron prior to each dwelling preseason recreation. It was the “Something to Prove” shirts worn by head coach Alain Vigneault all through the whole lot of coaching camp. And it was the competition by principally each single returning participant on the roster that something lower than a full-fledged bounce again from the catastrophe that was 2020-21 can be nothing lower than unacceptable.

That’s why it was particularly regarding when the Flyers’ season opener Friday evening felt prefer it was ripped straight from the pages of final season’s script.

The unhealthy luck bounces. The leaky goaltending. The exploitable penalty kill. The troubling tendency is to let one purpose towards flip into three in fast succession. The livid late comeback which solely served to remind that on paper, they have been too gifted to fall behind up to now within the first place. And then, after all, the eventual defeat. It was all so 2020-21 — in different phrases, the furthest factor from completely different.

Monday evening, alternatively, embodied completely different.

It wasn’t simply that Philadelphia took aside the

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