Florida crushed the Flyers 7-4, and secured the season series. The first period featured 3 fights in the first 2:45, and one more 14 minutes later. The third of those fights was between Mike Richards and David Booth. Booth, of course, wants revenge for being knocked out and missing 42 games after a clean hit by Richie earlier this year. More importantly, it was the Panthers who came out energized, and jumped on a 2-0 lead. The rest of the game featured a Flyers goal, followed by a Panther goal. At no point did Philly manage to tie things up. I mentioned yesterday that the defense looks a bit loose and needs to kick it into gear, and they got burned tonight. It doesn’t help that we have a garbage goalie. I don’t care what the stats say, he was completely exposed tonight. He gave up four goals before he was pulled, and three were completely his fault. Boucher didn’t play much better, but he’s gotta be rusty because he hasn’t played in forever. Here’s a breakdown of the goals Leighton gave up:
Goal 1: From the half boards along the left, Stillman sends a floater through the goalmouth that bounces off of Reinprecht and in. I blame Leighton because he could have intercepted the pass, or slid across to stop any shot attempt, instead of assuming that the puck would float by harmlessly.
Goal 2: Screen in front, cross ice passing, powerplay, I won’t blame Leighton for this one.
Goal3: Cross ice pass to Booth, who stops the puck and winds up. Meanwhile, Leighton slides across, remains on his feet for a change, sets up, and has no screen in front of him. Easy save for a pro right? Wrong! It goes through the five-hole.
Goal 4: Pretty much the same play as goal three, except reverse the side where the pass came from, and turn the slapper into a wrister. Once again there was no screen, and the puck went five-hole. And with that, Leighton’s night ends.
And of course, help is NOT on the way. At the deadline, the Flyers stood pat. I don’t get it. Does management really think this team has a chance to win it all? There was nothing we could do to shift the balance of power? On paper this team is good, but they’ve played inconsistently all season long. They’ve had stretches of great play with tons of offense, and they’e had stretches of the complete opposite. I understand when you look bad for a game or two. But it’s not ok to have a few dry spells. They look better than last year, but the top teams in the East are still in a league of their own. We’ll see what plays out in the final 20 games.
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