At scenic Lake Tahoe the Flyers were beaten by the Boston Bruins for the fifth time this season. After an even start, the Flyers were overwhelmed by the Bruins and were effectively out of the game by the start of the third period.
The Flyers’ controlled offensive zone entries that yielded no chances were manually tracked as an additional data point to try to explain the shot differential and give further insight into the possession metrics.
CF:22 CA: 15 CF%: 59.46%
Zone Entry No Chances (ZENO): 3
The Flyers did not start strong, giving Pasta and the Bruins a goal in the opening minute, but that seemed to wake up the team where they would build sizable corsi advantage through the period. It was a surprisingly strong period for a team that was sporting a fourth line of Mark Friedman, Andy Andreoff and Samuel Morin, two players that are new to the wing.
CF:10 CA:23 CF%:69.7
This is where the game got away from the Flyers to a point from which they were unable to recover. They started the period with a seven-chance advantage and would end the period with a six chance disadvantage. The Bruins would win shift after shift, with brief respites provided by the Couturier and Patrick lines
By the end of the period, the Flyers would be down four goals and Carter Hart would be chased from the net. Of the three 5 V. 5 goals scored in the period, they were not scored without the benefit of prolonged possession. The possession numbers were almost interrupted by goals which would result in a stoppage and faceoff at center ice.
In a way the scoreboard and the corsi numbers, as lopsided as they were, still do the Bruins dominance justice. It may have been the worst 20 minutes the Flyers’ have played this season.
CF:13 CA:15 CF%:46.43%
The Flyers took the ice looking at a mountain to climb in order to get back into the game. The Bruins had throttled their aggressive pinching and forecheck and seemed content to wait for the Flyers in their own end. The only exception was with 12:10 left in the period where the Bruins’ perfection line matched up against the Andreoff line. The Bruins would collect eight chances to the Flyers zero over the next sixty seconds.
This was the starkest example of how the covid protocol has ravaged lineups as Andreoff and his mates were helpless and were only saved by a Brian Elliott freezing of the puck.
The ZENO statistic was interesting in this period, and it may speak to the Flyers strategy. In what was clearly a desperate situation, the Flyers did not pepper Rask with shots. They were methodical in the offensive zone, so much so that in what should have been the period with the most offensive urgency, they had five controlled entries where they did not record a scoring chance.
This is an indicator that the team has certain types of shots they want to take, and maintain that shot discipline even when facing a large deficit.
Brad Marchand CF:17 CA:6 CF%: 73.91%
The Perfection line dominated possession and the difference between Marchand and his mates was due to uneven shift changes. Marchand played a good game and picked up two assists, even while being on cruise control for the third period. Apologies to Jeremy Lauzon who recorded 100% CF%, but his 34 seconds of 5 v 5 play did not qualify.
Mark Friedman CF:6 CA:21 CF%: 22.22
As a Friedman fan, this is tough to stomach, but he was playing out of position on the wing with Andreoff and Morin. This is not a recipe for Friedman’s success. Along with the minute of hell in the third period, Friedman was stuck in his own end in more than one occasion. His line seemed to have major problems transitioning from defense to offense.
CF: 45 CA:53 CF%: 45:92 ZENO:11
The corsi score favored the Bruins, but is incredibly generous to the Flyers as compared to the actual flow of the game. In reality, the second period corsi stats told the most accurate story of the Bruins dominance in this matchup. It is not a coincidence that the second period was where the Bruins built the commanding lead that won the game. The eight chance difference in scoring chances is nothing close to the imbalance in play through out the game.
The Flyers have a long flight home, and will not play again until Wednesday, where we can hopefully expect freedom from the Covid protocols and hopefully a more competitive effort.