What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole… wheel of cheese? How’d you do that? Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing.
- Ron Burgundy, Anchorman
So the Flyers lost 3-0 to the Bruins last night, and I’m not even that upset with them. There’s always something to improve upon, but I think they played pretty well for most of the game. We generated plenty of scoring chances, didn’t have trouble getting into their zone, and for the most part played well on defense too. We had double digit shots in every period, for a total of 41. Yes, we pressured them a lot more in the first two periods, but can you blame a team for giving up as time is running out, being down 2-0, and the opposing goalie is playing out of his mind?
Tim Thomas was incredible last night. Sometimes a stat like total shots is a bit misleading, because you don’t know how quality the chances were. But last night, we didn’t make it easy on him. We had traffic in front, we had shots from the point, we had one-timers, we had odd man rushes. We made him work for his shutout, and he earned it. There were only 8 minutes during the entire game when Thomas didn’t have to be great: our 4 powerplays.
The team claims they worked on the powerplay during each off day since Saturday. It looked like the same thing to me. Guys were stationary, easy to defend. Passes were short, predictable. Shots weren’t screened properly, and there weren’t too many of them anyway. They wasted time getting into the zone and getting set up. Things just don’t look right. I think they need to pick up the tempo a bit. It seems like 5 on 5, they play high energy, and try to create more chances. With a man up, they slow down, sit back, and make it easy to defend against them.
Scott Hartnell had a penalty shot, and it completely proved that he’s got no talent, but puts up decent numbers through hard work. He mad it completely obvious to Thomas what he was going to do as soon as he swung to the left and started cutting across the middle. And holding the shot, waiting for the goalie to commit, didn’t work out either. If he ever, ever gets an opportunity like this again, his best option is to come down the middle, pick a target, and let it rip. He’s not a finesse guy, and needs to stay away from finesse moves.
Finally, it seems like the offense is struggling because they are missing that extra oomph. It’s tough to tell exactly what it is. We know this team has the talent to light up the scoreboard. They’ve just gone cold. they’ve lost that finishing touch needed to put the puck into the net at a regular pace. They aren’t getting lucky bounces either. Their best bet is to keep playing and simply get going again. KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Do the little things, build some confidence, and things will be ok. The sooner the better, since Pittsburgh has caught us in the standings.
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