Season start, NHL is back it’s time for hockey, Flyers jerseys and other apparel flooding the streets and most importantly HOCKEY! We’ve waited all summer for what we all kind of knew would be a Flyers team that would be hard to watch at times, but hey we’re not pessimistic, we still expect the Flyers to do good this season and shut up every analyst and Vegas gambling ring that put Philly down.
Well they didn’t start off the season the way we hoped they would have, but it’s definitely not time to sound the alarms yet. We had that game tied until an unfortunate breakdown in the last two minutes of the game, right? Hell they weren’t even playing that good and they still held on against the Bruins, so there must be something good about this team right? Well kind of, Sean Couturier summed up the night best:
“It’s too bad, but at the same time I think the whole game was on and off … At moments we had the momentum, but then we seemed to lose it. We gotta make sure we’re always 100 percent and have that foot on the gas pedal the whole game.”
Steve Mason: We’re used to this by now, Steve Mason was a savior for the Flyers and he will most likely be a savior in many more games this season. Mason had 31 saves on 33 shots and was only beat when the penalty kill unit broke down and left the front of the net wide open, that put the Flyers down 1-0, then in the last minutes of the third with a lucky Bruins play.
2nd and 3rd period control: The Flyers had a not so great first period, but for long bits of the last 2 periods, the Flyers were able to control the puck. The first shift of the 2nd period kept the puck in Boston’s zone for over a minute forcing the Bruins to take a timeout after icing the puck. You could add to this the performance of the 4th line, who at times were the best while Giroux’s line was constantly shut down. Besides control, the 4th line also had some pretty nice hits via Zac Rinaldo. A lot of people give Rinaldo shit, but it’s pretty possible that with a 4th line that isn’t made up of goons that can barely skate, Rinaldo may be able to become an offensive asset or at least a skilled 4th liner. Don’t expect a calmer Rinaldo though, we’ll still see the occasional dumb penalty like the little glove to the face in the 1st period.
Every line except the first line: The Giroux line got shut down pretty completely all night. The other lines didn’t as much. The new second line setup looks like it really could lead to an offensive breakout for Sean Couturier, which would be awesome since he’s gone under the radar for a while. Couturier got the only goal for the Flyers. Pierre-Edouard Bellmare is fantastic on the 4th line, he was fast and was able to get into the Bruins zone all night. That’s a 4th line we need, skill not stupid.
The Power Play: Well we hoped it the power play would be as explosive in the regular season as it was in the pre-season, but no luck. They even came pretty close to getting some short handed goals scored on them. If we’re lucky, we just need to wait for them to get into the groove to make that PP dangerous again. Please don’t wait too long though. The first penalty kill sucked too. Son’t know why there were 4 guys in the corner and no one covering the front of the net, but it lead to the Bruins first goal. The problem presented here from Broadstreethockey.com:
The first line: They weren’t so bad as they were completely taken out of the game. Patrice Bergeron’s line just had their number. Giroux also flopped on the faceoffs winning only 19% of the face offs he took as opposed to Bergeron’s 78%. Passing was sloppy, but that wasn’t just the first line all the lines had passing troubles the first line just had more Bruins covering them.
The double hit on Rinaldo and following Luke Schenn Fight: This is horse shit, let’s get that out of the way. Two Bruins almost put Rinaldo’s head into the top of the boards, Luke Schenn defends his teammate and fights Robins, then the penalties cancel out? Some say Schenn deserved the instigating penalty, some thing Robins can go to hell and that other Bruin should’ve been in the goddamn penalty box with him. It’s your call here’s the hit and fight from hockeyfights.com.