Oh and 4. Oh and stinking 4. As time was winding down during the last game between the Flyers and the Rangers, the MSG crowd was chanting “you can’t beat us.” To me, that was extremely humiliating. It’s worse the a “sucks” chant, or any of the other stuff that’s been shouted a million times. We’ve become desensitized to just about everything. But that one chant was fresh, and it stung. It hurt because it was true, and I hate that.
I don’t think the Flyers will need any sort of extra motivation today. They know that the blue man group from Broadway has easily owned them this season. They know they’ve had chances and simply couldn’t take advantage. A blown 2-0 lead in the Winter Classic, and a collapse in the third period should still be fresh in their mind. So while I usually don’t like afternoon games because the team doesn’t seem wide awake, I’m not worried about that today.
In fact, both clubs should be ready to play today. So the question is, can the Flyers play well enough to actually beat New York? There’s a lot that they have to do right. The Rangers are really, really good on defense. Yeah, their goalie is amazing and covers up for the mistakes they do make. So the best thing we can do is not change anything about the way we play. Lavy likes for the guys to be aggressive. Don’t change that. Don’t sit back, waiting for the Rangers to turn the puck over. It’s not the way Flyers play hockey, and it’s not one of those adjustments we should mess around with.
True, we haven’t gotten the goaltending that’s necessary to win some of the first 4 games this season. So even if we play well, and don’t get the solid backstop that we need, it won’t be enough. But you obviously can’t think like that or expect that to happen. You just can’t leave the goalie to hang out to dry too often. We have to do our best to limit turnovers, and prevent odd man rushes. Of course this is common sense, and is part of the game plan every night. But it’s what the Rangers prey upon, since they aren’t as aggressive as we are.
Somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00 today, we can either be 0-5, or 1-4 against them. Neither of those numbers is great when you just look at it. But if we can get that one win now, it will help the team mentally. They need to prove to themselves they can beat EVERYBODY. They can’t be thinking about that one team that owned them. It’s all about how you’re playing going into the playoffs. Get it going today boys! Come on, let’s go Flyers!
For a view from the other side, check out Blue Line Station.
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