It’s been a bad week for me as a Flyers fan. I barely got to watch the games, so I can’t offer up too much of an analysis. I’ll do what I can based on what I have seen and heard.
Edmonton – 3/8 – They played well in the first period, jumped out to a large lead, and coasted. Consensus was that they played an incredible first 20 minutes, and a horrendous final 40. They were lucky to be playing a bad team, that didn’t make them pay for their mistakes.
The Shady Aftermath: Major news that I completely missed until last night. Before reporters were allowed into the locker room, they could hear through the doors that Pronger was flipping out at somebody. As reporters filed in, they saw him and Giroux parting ways. What exactly was said, I’m not sure. In a later interview, GM Homer said that he supported what Pronger did. He understood that Giroux didn’t like being talked to like that, but that it was a necessary message. Message boards and various sources say that the argument was about turnover and sloppy play with the puck. We all know Giroux loves to dangle and make people look stupid. And most of the time, he’s not doing that for the hell of it, but to actually create a scoring chance. I haven’t called him out during this dry spell; I haven’t seen a reason to. But I think Pronger knows hockey 2, maybe 3….million times better than I do. So if he felt it necessary to have that sort of confrontation, then something is wrong. I’ll circle back to this in a bit.
Toronto – 3/10 – Honestly, this was a really fun game for me. I don’t want to say I was getting bored with winning, but a tight contest just keeps you glued to the TV. We got a nice break when Komisarek boarded Carcillo and got a 5 minute major and got tossed. We had the lead all night, but Toronto had their chances and kept it close. We didn’t dominate, but we played well. There was, however, one massive, glaring flaw I saw: our puck-moving defenseman had a world of trouble moving the puck. I saw tons of missed breakout passes. I saw defensemen circling back to restart plays over and over. This cannot happen. Every team in the NHL can defend you if you move the puck up slowly. You have to get our fast, and not give them time to set up. Sure, Pronger didn’t play and he’s the best at this. But the other 5 guys have proven over and over to be more than capable at hitting a wing in motion. Briere’s goal in the previous game came as a direct result from Carle’s beautiful pass that split the middle. This needs serious tinkering.