When a fourth line (that consists of Dan Carcillo of all people) is to fast for any of your defensemen to catch up to and your team looks generally out matched, it’s probably fair that fans panic about playoff chances. I’m not exactly sure where I should even start to go over Thursday night’s Rangers easiest playoff game ever. Really it doesn’t matter because I’m sure no one wants to relive it, but I’ve heard understanding is a step toward coping.
SHOTS ON GOAL:
What wins games? Goals, a simple answer and what do you need to get goals? Shots on the net. Someone should spend a lot of time explaining that to the Flyers. For the first 7 minutes of the 1st period the Flyers had 0 shots on goal, in the 2nd period it took them 6 minutes to get a shot on goal. That’s okay though right, the Flyers have kind of a reputation for comebacks in the 3rd period right? Well it’s not a very good comeback strategy to wait 7 minutes before getting a shot on goal, after those seven minutes the Flyers only had 1 shot on goal in the entire period. Overall they were outshot 36-15.
The only goal the Flyers had came from a defenseman, Andrew MacDonald. The 7 forwards with 20+ goals this season could barely get shots on Lundqvist let alone score.
Putting Jason Akeson for his first ever playoff game after only ever playing 2 regular season games which weren’t even in the same season, probably wasn’t the best idea. Not only did he get a double minor for a slight stick to the face on Carl Hagelin, but he took it with 7 minutes left in the game while the game was tied, which means that fans place a large portion of the blame on him. Probably the most unfortunate for the rookie is that his point-per-game streak was ended.
What Akeson did to earn a playoff spot after only 2 NHL games is a mystery. He’s barely NHL tested let alone playoff tested. He even snubbed Tye McGinn who, while also barely NHL tenured, has more NHL play time than Akeson. That said, Akeson did manage 3 shots on goal where Giroux only got none.
MR. PLAYOFFS 2.0?:
For years Danny Briere was known as Mr. Playoffs for the Flyers and was usually a key player in Flyers playoff appearances, that is until last year when the Flyers bought out the last 2 years of his contract. Then they got Vincent Lecavalier, a player who was excessively compared to Danny Briere.
Now that doesn’t necessarily mean he is set to become Mr. Playoffs 2.0 for the Flyers, but Vinny does have a cup ring and is a playoff vet so he probably should have had more ice time than NHL rookie Jason Akeson. He didn’t. Restricting Lecavelier’s play time is no way to start making him into the second coming of playoff Jesus that the Flyers more than likely need.
The scary thing about the Flyers in this situation is that they could come out for game 2 in a couple ways:
- What we all hope for, the Flyers may be so intensely embarrassed and motivated by last night’s performance that they come onto the ice and dominate. We hope beyond anything that the pull a complete 180 on us and win battles and actually take some shots on the net. In their new found effort they could surprise the rangers and finally take a win at MSG.
- They could make absolutely no changes to their lineup or game play and continue to look miserable and get another loss and go down in the series 2-0.
- In their anger and frustration, the Flyers could make even more mistakes or do something to get someone injured and someone suspended for the remainder of the series. The worst case scenario that would have most fans giving up on their playoff run.