With tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes the Flyers have now scored 6 goals in 5 games. They have eclipsed 1 goal this season once in their only win against the Florida Panthers. And don’t even get me started on the power play which once again put up a donut in their 4 opportunities. I’m just glad it’s over.
After watching the Flyers tonight I came away with four immediate impressions and here they are in bullet format.
- We still struggle at beginning the attack out of our end of the ice.
I was astonished at how long it seemingly took the Flyers to move the puck out of the defensive zone. At one point in the third period it took the Flyers 7 passes to leave their own zone. SEVEN. There just doesn’t seem to be any cohesion with these lines right now. Craigh Berube said during an interview recently that the Flyers were going to work on moving without the puck. Well after tonight’s game, I have to say that whatever drills they worked on in regards to that did not have the desired effect. The Flyers simply had too many turnovers and even if it’s bad luck, (read: deflections, bouncing pucks) the passing did not look crisp. Too many times I saw the puck sail over a Flyers stick or end up out of reach of the intended player. This problem was what plagued this team last year when under Peter Laviolette and is still haunting us 5 games into this season.
- The power play as it stand is just a mess.
Tonight was another game in which the Flyers power play was stunted by poor passing and skating without purpose. Watching the Flyers tonight I could count on my hand the amount of times I saw them move the puck to open ice expecting a teammate to be there and they were. Perhaps since we’re only 5 games into this new season and with a new coach after 3, these reshuffled lines need a little time to coalesce. That still doesn’t excuse this team from averaging only 1.2 goals per game with the offensive talent we have. Jake Voracek, Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds all have yet to record a point this season. Please don’t re-read that sentence because it could possibly lead to a brain aneurysm and I would like those of you who read me to continue to do that. The Flyers lack of goals obviously can’t continue this poor offensive output for 82 game but still, for a team that was 3rd in the league on the power play last year, that is really astonishing.
- The Flyers hate Steve Mason for reasons that remain unclear.
How else can you explain the record of this team after 5 games in which Steve Mason, in 4 starts, has a .935 save percentage. The goalie situation, much like any year since Ron Hextall left the Flyers, was the biggest area of concern for this team. Well through 5 games so far it is the brightest spot on this team. Mason did have trouble with rebounds tonight but it didn’t come back to haunt him. Heck, both goals by the Coyotes were hard to stomach tonight. The first being off a flukey deflection and the second being a great effort by Mason to get a glove on a rocket from Oliver Ekman-Larsson that found its way into the back of the net. Mason has really played well but unfortunately has only one win to show for his spectacular play so far.
- Zac Rinaldo killed us tonight.
He took 3 really bad penalties tonight, with the high-sticking call leading to the eventual game-winning goal. I have such a love/hate relationship with Rinaldo because sometimes during a listless Flyers effort he seems to be the only one who gives a damn. But on night’s like tonight he ends up really hurting the Flyers and I start lumping him in with the Jay Rosehill‘s of the world. Speaking of which, why the **** was Rosehill given ice-time in a 1-1 game? I don’t get it. Zac is a solid 4th line forward who brings energy, but he needs to know when to just shut up and skate away. Also, for those of you who watched the game, did anyone else see the graphic of the game’s top performers? Zac Rinaldo was on there. That really is all you need to know about how just brutal this game was to watch.
Players that I think played well tonight were Vinny Lecavalier (he’s been great all season actually), Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn. They provided the Flyers with their best 5 on 5 scoring chances but as everyone who watched the game, could only capitalize on one of them.
Also, if the play tonight already didn’t have you upset, it seems that the Flyers have lost the services of Vinny and Hartnell for at least a week.
Hartnell and Vinny out at least a week Homer says
— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) October 12, 2013
Good thing we have a game in just 19 hours against the Red Wings in Detroit.
/bashes head on keyboard
As always, please send all your hate mail to bear [dot] canney [at] gmail [dot] com and your angry tweets @BcanneyBSB.