Last night’s Flyers 3-2 win over the caps was very impressive for a few reasons. It showed exactly how good of a team we are, and how hard we are to beat.
Note: I’m having issues embedding video’s from the NHL site, so please visit the links to see the goals if you missed them last night or just want another look at them.
First I want to go over how each of our goals was pretty damn awesome. Here’s Carter’s goal that opened up the scoring pretty early in the game. Looks like a fairly smart, exciting play, right? Well, there’s more to it. We all know Carter has one of the best wristers in the game. And if we know it, then of course the Caps know it. So when he came down the wing, everyone expected him to try getting a good shooting angle and releasing the puck. And Carter knew that’s what they were waiting for. By holding the puck, he froze the goalie, confused the defense for a split second, and gave himself ample time to get around the cage and bury the goal.
Next up was the Giroux goal. This year, Washington isn’t the offensive juggernaut that dominated the league over the past few seasons. Instead, they play much tougher on D. They’re top 10 in shots against and goals against. But look where Giroux came from to create the initial shot and the rebound. He simply skated down the middle, through the slot, towards the goalie. Nobody touched him, nobody was even close to him. He’s the only All-Star on the team, and the Capitals completely lost track of him.
Finally, the OT game-winner came from Meszaros. I could mention the fact that it was a defenseman with the game winner. A defenseman who’s only scored one goal all season long. Or I can point out that there wasn’t really a screen and that he flat out beat Varlamov with an excellent wrist-shot. But that’s not why this goal was sweet. This goal was sweet because of how Matt Carle set it up. He’s always been good at making long passes that spark the transition game. He’s also a solid defender, and is generally underrated. Last night he was just showing off. He took advantage of the Caps backing off of him, took the puck into their zone by himself, and pretty much drew everyone attention. When he curled towards the boards, he drew two guys towards him, and still had an easy passing lane to dish it to an open Meszaros. That gave Andrej plenty of time to pick and spot and fire away.
As for blowing a 2-0 lead, I’m not even that mad. Leino made a horrible decision that lead to the first goal. He knows better than to pass through the middle when you are in your own zone. He won’t make that mistake again. Similar issues caused the second goal. Coburn lost the puck in traffic instead of clearing it, then he left Ovi alone next to the net, and of course the puck came to him and he tapped it home. I’m not mad because these were small lapses. This wasn’t because of consistently poor positioning or common mistakes that these players make. These were the types of goals that just happen from time to time.
Still, Timonen and Coburn deserve some attention for how the handled 8 for most of the night. He had a few chances, but he had plenty more spoiled by those two. There were at least 4 times that he came at them head on and had the puck swiped away easily. They didn’t give him room to fire one timers. Most importantly, they played him clean. The only penalty minutes we had were a result of the Shelley-King fight.
Next up, Ottawa on Thursday.
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