When a team that's lost seven straight comes into your building, you have to step on their neck quickly and avoid giving them any hopes of breaking the skid. With three first period goals, the Flyers did just that on Saturday afternoon with a dominating 6-1 win to kick start what is probably the most exciting 72 hour period in the history of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.
After Scott Hartnell scored on the power play, David Laliberte would pot the first goal of his NHL career, a rebound that fell right on his stick that he easily deposited into an empty net, to give the orange and black an early 2-0 lead on Halloween. Matt Carle made it 3-0 on a wrap-around goal late in the period, capping off a period that was absolutely dominated by the Flyers, a bit of foreshadowing toward the rest of the afternoon.
Some assorted thoughts...
- Laliberte now has more goals than seven different Flyers, and he has as many as Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen, Simon Gagne, and Ian Laperriere.
- Eleven different Flyers hit the score sheet: Braydon Coburn, Laliberte, Laperriere, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Hartnell, Chris Pronger, James van Riemsdyk, Carle, Timonen, and Ryan Parent. Carle, JVR, Coburn, Laliberte, and Hartnell all had multi-point afternoons.
- Coburn scored two third period goals in what he called a big "confidence booster." Hopefully it's a step in the right direction for his season.
- After several games of registering several scoring opportunities but not being able to bury them, the Flyers finally executed today.
- Ray Emery was great today, making 39 saves. It's atypical of this Flyers club to be out-shot the way they were today, but luckily their goaltender was up to the challenge. Unfortunately for the other club on the ice, Michael Leighton looked terrible. The Flyers got to him often.
- There was a bit of a lull in the second period, and that's when the Canes built that ridiculous shot advantage, outshooting Philadelphia 20-8 in the twenty minutes. Early in the period, Carolina came out with a furious pace to their step. They got a goal out of the fray, but 14 seconds later, James van Riemsdyk shut down the Canes glimmer of hope on a pretty individual effort that made it 4-1. The Flyers didn't look back.
- Mika Pyorala, Danny Syvret, and Arron Asham finished the day minus-1, the only Flyers in the minus on the day.
- There were three fights in the second period. Ian Laperriere, Arron Asham, and Dan Carcillo dropped the gloves for the Flyers. The consensus after the game among John Stevens and the players is that that kind of play can help bring a team together even more, something the Flyers need to do in order to make this season a success.
- Ryan Parent left the game early after possibly re-injuring himself. Stevens said that they didn't want him "pushing it" and that he thinks Parent will be fine. Just a precaution. Hopefully.
With revamped defense and rejuvenated offense, the Flyers did their job today. Nothing more, nothing less. With a team like Carolina coming in the way they're playing, a big win should be expected. Think that's harsh? That's what it takes to win a Cup. Coach Stevens agrees. When asked if the team has earned a day off with this loss, he quickly responded with a "No."
After the jump, questions with answers and comment of the (day).
Questions With Answers
- Can the Flyers kick the struggling Hurricanes while they are down? Yes. Without a doubt.
- How does Laliberte play in his first NHL game? He impressed Stevens enough to move him from the fourth line to the Carter/JVR line at the start of the second period. Two points in your first NHL game? Best Halloween ever.
- Do the changes on the blueline have any effect? Coburn seemed energized, but it's tough to get a full rad because of the injury to Parent. Nevertheless, one goal against is nothing to frown at.
- How do Betts and Parent look in their first games back? As mentioned, Parent left early. He should be fine. Betts was clearly testing his shoulder throughout the game, delivering several checks with that shoulder. He looked fine, finished a plus-1 in 15:23 of ice time. Betts also won 72% of his faceoffs.
- How does the threat of a SEPTA strike tonight, accompanied by city-wide Phillies phever, put a damper on the crowd today? The crowd was very much into the game, but with it out of hand in the third period, a resounding "Yankees Suck!" chant echoed through the Wachovia Center. We'll see how it goes on Monday with a 5 PM start.
Comment(s) of the Day
It’s only fitting for the Flyers to win on Halloween.
It’s still New York. AL or not, everybody hates the Yankees.
>> Ben Rothenberg