Last nights Flyers 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres was nice. But there’s still a ton of room left for improvement. First off, we can thank Ryan Miller for sucking really bad last night. He gave us a lead, and all we had to do was hold on.
I love the pressure we had in the opening minutes. We kept attacking and attacking and it paid off in turnovers and good scoring chances. Fortunately for us, Ryan Miller was way off his game. On the first goal, he kicked a rebound right out into the slot. On the second goal, he started to cheat to his left, expecting a pass, and just got beat up high. On the last goal, he just got beat glove side with a well placed slapper. He wasn’t screened, it wasn’t a one-timer. he simply got beat on a shot that any professional goalie should stop. And just like that, his night is done, and all we have to do is hold on.
Again, I love the work ethic in the early part of the game. We deserved to have a lead. But the goals simply came too easily. Hard work doesn’t yield these kinds of goals on a normal basis. And after we took the lead, our play went downhill. Like I said last night, I wasn’t bothered by the slowed down pace as the first period was winding down. It’s impossible to keep up a breakneck pace for 60 minutes. But when the second period started, I thought we’d keep our foot on the gas. Instead, penalty after penalty prevented us from gaining any momentum. We wasted energy killing them off, rather than generating chances. We had 14 shots in the 1st, and jsut 12 more the rest of the way.
When the Sabres tacked on their 2nd goal, there was still half a period to play. And since the Flyers hadn’t had a consistent attack for 30 minutes, all they could do was hang on. It worked out, but it wasn’t pretty. Bryzgalov made a few good saves down the stretch to preserve the win. But it would have been nice for them to push a little harder to extend the lead a bit. I didn’t see too much of that. Maybe it’s nitpicking on my part, but I want to see a lot more out of our team. They got the win, and that’s great. But the Sabres are a struggling team, and we capitalized on the mistakes of a struggling goalie. This kind of effort is not good enough against teams of a higher caliber. We’ll see how things go tonight against New Jersey.
- Patrick Kaleta is a dirty player and needs to get rocked by someone. he want after Giroux waaaaaay after he’d dumped the puck late in the game. He knew the Flyers wouldn’t retaliate because they were up a goal, and needed to kill clock. But just because nobody went after him last night, doesn’t mean he’ll have a free ride next time we meet on Decmber 7th.
- Bryzgalov made some good saves, but I wasn’t too pleased with the 2nd goal. He overcommited, and was beat with a bad bounce when he was spinning and scrambling to get back in net. If he was in better position, he gets post to post and probably stops it.
- He also gave up a few really, really bad rebounds. One long bounce worked out well for us though. It ricocheted off his chest/shoulder and went all the way down to the Sabres blue line. Buffalo was changing at the time, so none of their guys were in position to pick it up. The Flyers ended up with the puck and had a few chances while keeping the pressure up.
- When the Sabres were a man up, they did a great job of moving the puck and keeping it in our zone. However, for the most part, they didn’t get a ton of shots through. We kept them to the outside, and made them keep moving it. Still, it was a good job by them to remain patient, not force shots, and not give the puck away.
- Nice job by JVR getting a goal by driving to the net. Especially after I blasted him yesterday for not doing that often enough. I wish he’d keep it up more though. Come on man, use your size!
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