This young Flyers team just endured their first road trip of this season and the results were impressive. After a 2-1 loss in Tampa Bay that produced one of the most interesting situations that we will see all year. Yes of course I’m talking about the stalling tactic that head coach Peter Laviolette endorsed. Even though the two points were taken away by the Lightning in overtime, the Panthers and Hurricanes would fall to a well rested Flyers team.
The players couldn’t have been complaining about the scheduling of this road trip. They played just one game last week before having three days off to relax and get ready for the Panthers at the odd starting time of 5 p.m on a Sunday, come on NHL you can do better than that. The Panthers fell to Philadelphia 3-2, then it was the Hurricanes turn to take a tally in the right column with a 5-3 loss.
If you’re counting at home that is a seven game points streak for the surging Flyers, who find themselves currently tied with the Penguins for the lead in the Atlantic division. The first meeting between these two teams will take place Thursday December 8th in Philly.
So what have we learned about this offensive fireball of a team since that awful 9-8 loss to the Winnipeg Jets back on October 27th?
Bryzgalov has his mask on straight – There was supposed to be a muzzle put on Philadelphia’s high prized offseason acquisition after he declared that he had lost almost all confidence in himself following the loss to the Jets. He said he “couldn’t stop anything.” As I said to my friends and on twitter (follow me @Scottdargis, self promotion!), I would rather him have this problem now than in late April.
Let’s face it he played for a team that had a fan base who could care less about hockey, even in May. Coming to Philadelphia is a complete 180 from Phoenix, these fans keep up with the team from when that first puck drops in the beginning of October. Perhaps he had to overcome the extra pressure that he appeared to be putting on himself, but whatever the case he has been as good as advertised in his last four starts.
at Buffalo, 29-31 Saves, .935 SV%, result: Win 3-2
Columbus, 33-35 Saves, .943 SV%, result: Win 9-2
at Tampa Bay, 22-24, .917 SV%, result: Overtime Loss 2-1
at Florida, 31-33, .939 SV%, result: Win 3-2
It looks like he is getting himself into better position, which is obviously key in order to make saves, but it allows him to control the amount of rebounds that he has been prone to giving up. If you have noticed the amount of deflection and rebound goals have taken a nose dive and now he can once again challenge Pronger for the best interview on the team.
Not to be outdone, Sergei Bobrovsky has quietly had a couple of good games in this streak. He is 2-0-1, with two wins over Carolina and the overtime loss to the Devils.