Three times, the Thrashers took the lead. Three times, the Flyers tied it up. Unfortunately, the shootout didn’t go our way, and we failed to get a W against Atlanta for the 2nd time in less than a week.
Boucher didn’t start or end the game particularly well. The first goal went right through him on a bad angle. And he retreated to far into his net on both shootout goals. Other than that, we didn’t need much else out of him. He didn’t face a ton of shots, and I can’t remember any that were that tough. We really could have used a bit more out of our goalie in that game.
Meanwhile, our offense picked things up as the game went along. After a fairly slow second period, I got a text saying, “This team is making me sick.” The way the Flyers came out in the third should have cured any ailments. The only scored one goal, but created a ton of chances, and kept Atlanta penned in their own zone for what seemed like the entire 20 minutes. The only time we had to defend was when we were shorthanded twice. All three goals we scored were from within 10 feet of the net. Giroux slipped right through the defense and finished off a nice passing play. Briere’s first goal came off a Pavelec turnover behind his net. Briere’s second goal, which came in the last 90 seconds, also resulted came off a turnover. He crashed the net and managed to sweep the puck in while getting tackled.
The Antropov goal, which gave ATL a 3-2 lead late in the 2nd, kind of pissed me off. I was talking to someone how most goals in hockey are the result of a mistake by someone. Whether it be a turnover, bad coverage, or something else; most goals could have been prevented if someone on the ice had done a better job. This goal wouldn’t have happened if Carter has stuck closer to his man. Antropov is a big guy, with an above average shot. Carter let him get into the slot, and stand there with plenty of room around him. A quick pass from behind the net, a one-timer into the far side, and that’s it. Should have never happened if our center played closer to his man, as he knows he should have.
A lot of guys block shots, usually diving in front of the puck. The outside of a skate is very well padded, and when players get hit there, it usually feels like nothing. But when the turn their foot and get hit on the in-step, that’s where we see injuries. So when Andrej Meszaros went down after taking a shot in that exact spot, I was scared. I thought he definitely broke his foot, and we’d lose him for a few weeks, if not the rest of the season. Luckily, he went to the bench, manned up, and finished he game. Let’s just hope that post-game medical checks don’t find anything wrong with him.
The last thing is, we got a point out of this game. We have a tiny bit of breathing room in the standings. Washington is 2 points back, but have played 2 more games. Pittsburgh is 4 points back, and has played 1 more game. We face each of them next week. Should be fun!
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