Jagr seems to like this guy, whoever he is. (Courtesy: Ronald Martinez)

Some Guy Named Claude Helps Flyers Beat Stars

Some red-headed dude named Claude Giroux was in the lineup last night as the Flyers beat the Dallas Stars 4-1. The kid looked pretty good, scoring the first goal and getting helpers on the next three. Apparently he’s played for us before, not sure when though. I’ll have to check out Wikipedia later to verify.

The game was on Versus, where they billed it as an early Christmas present for viewers because it featured a pair of division leaders. I hope Dallas enjoys the lump of coal we brought them. Not only did we beat them on the ice, but our coach made one of their tougher guys look like a b!tch. Most importantly though, was that we looked good in victory.

With this Claude character playing alongside Jagr, the other lines fell back into place. It was like the good old days from 2 weeks ago, when every line combo contributed to the attack and created scoring chances. Overall, I was very happy with what I saw from the offense.  We created turnovers in their zone, and pressured them a lot. The powerplay was especially effective, scoring twice and making Dallas pay for all of the dumb penalties they took. It was kind of refreshing to see the other team constantly going to the box because they couldn’t control their emotions.

Despite giving up only one goal, I didn’t like some of that chances we gave up. I’m a firm believer that almost every goal is the result of a mistake. You can play solid defense for the entire 60 minutes, but if you have small errors for even a second, that can result in a goal against. The first mistake was when G started coasting during his backcheck, and Michael Ryder found himself open for a drop pass that he buried into the net. Another mistakes was when Meszaros fell down, losing the puck in the process and giving up a clean breakaway.  Sergei Bobrovsky was up to the task, and made a nice save on the play. There were a few other moments where we failed to clear pucks or pick up guys. We got away with it, but you don’t want to live on the edge like that. The reason I nitpick is because no team is perfect, and even when you’re playing well, there’s always room for improvement.

The last thing I want to mention is the emotion level last night.  Usually, when you play teams from the West, you just don’t care as much. You obviously want the win, but there’s no burning hatred to fuel you. But last night was different for whatever reason.  The Versus crew pointed out throughout the game that the teams were talking trash and playing chippy all night long. And they mentioned that the Flyers seemed unfazed by it and enjoyed it, while it seemed to agitate Dallas and get them off their game a bit. I love hearing that.

Side Note: It’s a shame that Pronger is out because I’d love to see him on the ice with Adam Burish. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here.

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Tags: 2011-12 Season Adam Burish Andrej Meszaros Chris Pronger Claude Giroux Dallas Stars Jaromir Jagr Michael Ryder NHL Peter Laviolette Philadelphia Flyers Sergei Bobrovsky Steve Ott

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