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What the Flyers Need to Avoid Tonight

Last week in Montreal, the Flyers got shut out 3-0 by giving up a pair of powerplay goals and failing to capitalize on their own powerplay chances. The Canadiens carried the play in the first and then caused the Flyers to play catch-up the whole game. Tonight, the scene will shift to Philadelphia and the annoying Habs fans won’t have a chance to sing their “Nah nah nah nah hey hey goodbye” for a regular season game. The Flyers are definitely looking forward to this one as a chance to build on the sloppy game yet solid effort that they won in a shootout on Saturday against the Caps. Subban and Richards exchanged pleasantries last time around, so look for that if the game gets out of hand.

The Flyers powerplay needs to keep things simple and get shots on net with traffic in front. That’s how they were so successful earlier this month, and that’s how Flyers hockey scores on the powerplay more often than not. The penalty kill needs to tighten up for sure, but the amount of penalties taken needs to be cut down. Danny Briere’s stick infraction last game nearly lost them the game, and it can’t happen again. Good teams will make you pay for that usually, but we got a little lucky on Saturday.

They need to test Price early and often. I doubt he’s going to return another 41 save performance in Philly tonight. Boosh will get the start again tonight, and they need to make sure he feels comfortable early or it could be a long night.

James Van Riemsdyk had his best game of the season on Saturday. He was all over the ice, taking the body, and cycling the puck down low using his size. This was the JVR we wanted to see this year, and he needs to take that game and flush it. He may have played well, but the only way to show your coach that you shouldn’t be scratched again when Carcillo returns is to keep building on each game and getting better. He should be getting that first goal soon, why not tonight? If he keeps working hard and stops trying to be too fancy with the puck, the bounces will come his way.

There’s been a lot of talk about Bobrovsky being rested the past two games, but I think this is a good thing. He can take a step back and evaluate what went well with those 10+ games he saw action in and what didn’t go so well. Jeff Reese can show him some film and work him to improve his game. This also gives Boosh a chance to get some work in because you can’t play an 82-game season and win with just one goalie in today’s league. Bobs is our starter for sure, but right now as a young goaltender still acclimating to the North American culture and game, a break can be a good thing.

Tonight should be a good hockey game for fans in general, then the Flyers travel to Minnesota, back home to take on Calgary, then to New Jersey to meet the Devils for the first time this season. Should be an interesting Thanksgiving week/weekend.

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Posted by on November 22, 2010 in Flyers Talk and Other

 

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FINALS HERE WE COME!!!

They did it, they did it, and they did it again. The team who had many writers predicting a Stanley Cup win in the beginning of the season became the team no one thought would make the playoffs. Then you have the team who wasn’t going to make it out of the first round. Then you have the team that’s the best in the East and representing their conference and city in the Stanley Cup Finals to play for the most prized trophy in all of sports. How’d they do it?

Things looked bad early when Gionta jumped on a loose puck and sent a shot in between Leighton’s legs for an early lead in the first minute of the game. On the penalty kill a few minutes later, the Canadiens were looking to go up 2-0 but Mike Richards had the shift of his life. The tiny Marc-Andre Bergeron thought it’d be cute to skate the puck in, but was met at the blue line by Richie for a brutal hit. Richie and Giroux skated up the ice, Giroux crashed the net and Richie found a trailing Coburn for a nice shot but a nicer save by Halak. The captain’s answer? Skate hard back on the forecheck along with Coburn and Giroux, and get the puck back. Giroux got the puck, softly played it to center and Richards took it as Halak was coming way out of his net along with Hamrlik behind him. The puck somehow got past the pile of people, Richie slid, got up and deposited an easy backhander into the empty net for it to be 1-1. And the Flyers never looked back.

Asham scored a key goal on a nice move to make it 2-1, and my amazing call that Carter would score happened to make it 3-1. Richie gave him a nifty pass from behind the net for an easy far-side shot by Carter. Carter would also get the empty net for a total of 4 Flyers goals, but not before Gomez scored near the end of the game for a final score of 4-2. Flyers move on to play the Blackhawks, and last night was a time to celebrate. The rest of the week is time for the team to refocus, refresh, and get the past 3 rounds out of their collective systems. The Hawks are different than any other team they’ve faced this postseason, but you can say the same for the Flyers as the Hawks’ opponent. I’ll have a full series preview later in the week. Right now I’m just enjoying the win and getting Flyer’d up. I’ve waited 13 long years for this along with the rest of you.

Cue the greatness:

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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One More Win

The Philadelphia Flyers are one win away from their first Stanley Cup Final in 13 years. It doesn’t feel like it, does it? I’m starting to get more and more Cup Crazy myself, and tonight’s game will be huge. The Flyers came out Saturday and weathered the storm. They let the Canadiens come out skating everywhere frantically with their home crowd behind them. They played their game and stuck with their system until eventually, the Canadiens had no room in the offensive zone and were dumping the puck in and making some terrible turnovers. Of course, Giroux and Leino’s goals were absolutely stunning with their dekes. Who will be the hero tonight? I have an idea of who might be:

Lappy came back on Saturday, but I hope he’s ready for tonight. This guy is going to step out on the ice tonight and the Wachovia Center will no doubt be giving him a thunderous standing ovation. He will do his job as usual and hear it from the crowd. Jeff Carter also returned on Saturday surprisingly, and had 4 shots and some good looks with his limited ice-time. He actually threw his body around and didn’t look like the guy who broke both of his feet recently. Carcillo and Nodl sat to bring these guys back, but I hope Carbomb understands what’s going on here. He is the odd man out in order to keep Leino on the team. Leino has been producing so much lately, so it made no sense to take him out. Asham has been playing great with Giroux and JVR, so keeping that line intact was also necessary. Carcillo will be back, if not this series than maybe the next. If not, he should be happy for his team because we definitely could not have gotten here without all of his drawn penalties, and his two key goals in the Devils series.

I’m expecting a Flyers win tonight. This bunch has been focused all playoffs, and they’re ready to take the Hawks on in the finals. Also, the Philly crowd is not going to let this game go back to Montreal. Expect the Flyers to try and take an early lead and get behind the crowd to submit the Habs. I predict Carter scores tonight.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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Flyers Have Work to Do

The Flyers are up 2-0 in the series right now and have outscored Montreal 9-0 in the first two games as they head to the Bell Centre for Montreal’s two home games. The scoreboard has made the Flyers look like they’ve steamrolled the Habs so far, but that hasn’t exactly been the case. The first period so far this series has been a problem for us and the Habs seem to come out more aggressive to start the game. Yet, we managed to come away with a 1-0 lead in both games and then start a dominant second period. That can’t happen tonight, especially in a hostile building. Montreal is a good team and you have to expect them to up the ante in front of their home crowd to avoid a 3-0 hole. They have yet to score a goal on Leighton, so they’re going to be hungry as hell looking for that one goal to set them off and gain some confidence. As a fan, I was very disappointed on Tuesday night as I watched the first period, and I hope it is not a repeat performance tonight. There’s a lot of storylines emerging in this series as Leighton has not allowed a goal since the first period of Game 7, and the Flyers have found their offensive stride and have gotten key goals from their best players as well as other players who aren’t always on the stat sheet.
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Posted by on May 20, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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Eastern Conference Finals Preview: (7) Flyers vs. (8) Canadiens

The roads both of these teams took to get here were not exactly the easiest ways to do it. Waiting till the end of the season before clinching a playoff berth, and playing two series against quality Eastern Conference teams; the Flyers and Habs are 4 wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals. Never before has a 7th and 8th seed met in the playoffs, so history has been made yet again. Tonight they start their series off in Philadelphia as both teams are fresh off of a seven game series. Here are what I believe the two most important keys to this series:
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Posted by on May 16, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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Flyers Survive Late Canadiens Rush

In a game that had a little something for everybody, the Flyers secured another 2 points at home as they prepared to take on their last opponent before the Olympic break. The scoring got started in the first period by a weird play in which Scott Hartnell was hacking away at Carey Price for a loose puck and wound up moving him into the net with his stick as Jeff Carter knocked the loose puck home. The Flyers came out in the 2nd period and scored another two quick goals to take a commanding lead. First one being by Carter again with a slap shot (rarely done) from the point after he rotated back, and the second being a shot by Matt Carle that deflected off of traffic in front courtesy of Aaron Asham. The Flyers were seemingly firing on all cylinders in the first two periods and they did a stout job of keeping the puck out of their own zone.

In the third period they let two early goals get the Canadiens back in the game before the Canadiens took 3 consecutive tripping penalties to give the Flyers ample powerplay time. Carey Price stopped them all, and preserved a chance for the Habs to get back in it even though they lost most of their momentum after being penalize so many times in a short span. Then on an aggressive forecheck by Darroll Powe, he sent Spacek face first into the boards and got a 5 minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
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