After a fun Halloween weekend to end the first month of the season, the Flyers sit atop the Atlantic Division. And they looked pretty good while handling their business.
First we dispatched the Penguins in their own building, again! It started with Mike Richards pounding Matt Cooke’s face in, and ended with a pair of goals from Giroux and a late rally by Pittsburgh. The first period featured 34 PIM’s for the two teams combined. First came the Richards/Cooke beatdown, followed by Shelley and Engelland17 seconds later. After two mostly low key games, finally, we got to see the real Flyers-Pens rivalry. Carcillo was added to the lineup in place of Zherdev “to provide toughness” and ended up scoring a goal on a nice deflection in the second. How much toughness did he really add in 5:06 of playing time? Oh well, I guess it still worked out. I’m not sure if it will work out in the long run though.
Saturday night was a bit easier as the Islanders came to town and left with a 6-1 beating. Pronger scored twice and Timonen added a goal for the first goals by any of our d-men this season. Carter also scored a pair and Nodl got one before getting hurt and leaving. The storyline for this game, aside from total domination, was also about the roguh stuff. The Isles were frustrated while getting embarrassed, and all hell broke loose in the third period. New York’s only goal came on a shorthanded penalty shot. Other than that, Bobrovsky was a wall.
Between the two games, the Flyers found their scoring touch. Everyone is starting to contribute more, and the team is just starting to really come together. It might turn out that the ugly loss to Columbuswas a good thing. The defense looks more dominant as well, keeping shots to the outside, no letting too many guys crash the net, and limiting solid scoring opportunities. The powerplay is slowly starting to come around as well. They scored 3 times in 13 chances, which isn’t great, but a lot better than what we’ve seen lately.
In the aftermath of the Isles game, Briere received a 3 game suspension. More on that in the next blog.
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Topics: Chris Pronger, Claude Giroux, Dan Carcillo, Danny Briere, Jeff Carter, Jody Shelley, Kimmo Timonen, Matt Cooke, Mike Richards, New York Islanders, Nikolai Zherdev, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sergei Bobrovsky, Suspended