It’s easy to blame Matt Carle for last night’s 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Maybe we could have tied the game at 3 if he hadn’t coughed up the puck that lead to the 4th goal. Regardless, we shouldn’t have been in that situation. Plenty of stupid mistakes lead to that moment that should have been avoided.
First, I’m sick of the stupid little drop posses the Flyers do when they are on the power play and taking the puck through the neutral zone. They always leave it for the last man, right in the middle. If something goes wrong, the play heads the other way in a dangerous situation. That’s exactly what happened when Briere inexplicably tried to take the puck and go solo up the middle. He had guys open, he should have passed. Instead, he was selfish and it lead to a breakaway goal to open the scoring.
I don’t blame him for the penalty that lead to Stamkos scoring with less than a second left in the first period. The call was weak, very weak. And Stamkos’ shot was amazing. Best shot in the NHL? Maybe. Too bad his coach is an idiot and is letting this talent go to waste. He’s got 53 goals on the season so far. Imagine how much more he could have if they actually forechecked and tried to press the offense even more.
For the most part, the Flyers played shutdown D. But the chances they give up were pretty damn glorious opportunities. How does Martin St. Louis get a clean breakaway in the third? I’m not sure whose responsibility he is, but both Kubina and Gustaffson were a mile apart when he caught the pass in between them and skate freely in. When Tampa got possession of the puck, shouldn’t they both immediately move towards the middle a bit so seal that area off from a counterrush? It’s hard to say exactly what they did wrong because the camera angles don’t capture the entire surface of the ice during play. But when a stretch pass from blue line to blue line sends a guy in alone with no defenders within a sticks length of him, somebody screwed up. The more I look at it, the more it seems that Kubina didn’t get over to seal him off in time, and St. Louis was off to the races.
It ticks me off so much when we dominate so thoroughly, and still lose. We beat their stupid trap, had plenty of chances, and just couldn’t finish. Dwayne Roloson made plenty of great saves, and mostly it was due to sound positioning. As great as our chances were, I’d like to see us force him to go side to side a bit more. It’s easier said than done, but the goal is to make him work. Instead, he was always in position to make the save. I just can’t stand losing to this team because of how their coach preaches a boring style of play when he has the offensive personnel to play a different way.
Also, Bryz was not to blame, but he didn’t look special either. Reports after the game stated that he had a noticeable limp and would require an x-ray. No injury was reported, so we’ll have to wait and see if he’s really ok. Each of the first three goals that beat him were really nice shots. However, on the two breakaways you hope your goalie can come through for you. I’m not blaming him, but I’m not absolving him either. Obviously he’s not at fault for the Carle giveaway goal. Over though, he’s had much better days lately. Hopefully he’s ok and last night was just a bump in the road.
Now we move on as we await another game with a doormat. Toronto is pretty much out of the hunt, but they’ll find a way to make a game of it. Twice in the last 7 days now we’ve lost to a team from Florida that we should have throttled. So it’s not a given that we’ll destroy a team that we are much better than on paper. We’ll see Thursday.
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Tags: 2011-12 Nhl Season Danny Briere Dwayne Roloson Erik Gustaffson Florida Panthers Ilya Bryzgalov Martin St. Louis NHL Pavel Kubina Philadelphia Flyers Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning Toronto Maple Leafs