Bipolar Flyers disappear in third, lose to Thrashers 4-3

Final - 1.28.2010 1 2 3 Total
Atlanta Thrashers 1 0 3 4
Philadelphia Flyers 0 3 0 3

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What the hell was that?

After a lackluster first period where the Flyers looked like they were turning a three-day-long hiatus into a fourth day, they came out in the second period and scored three Sportscenter quality goals (if hockey was still entertained on ESPN) to take a 3-1 lead into the third.

That comeback doesn't exactly correlate with the end result: the first game all season that the Flyers took the lead into the third and wound up not getting a point. Cue the music.

We can break down film and blame individual players for the Atlanta goals, like Matt Carle for basically holding Ray Emery out of the net on Jim Slater's game-winning goal. Or Claude Giroux, who just stood there and let Slater have the front of a wide-open net on that same goal. Or, Blair Betts, who did the same thing as Giroux on Slater's first goal. Or Chris Pronger and Matt Carle, who both let Ilya Kovalchuk skate through them to a loose puck, leading to a goal at the beginning of the third.

You get the point.

The problem is that all of these mistakes are symptoms of a team that just doesn't have the urgency to clamp down and win a hockey game when it's necessary. This quality isn't one that a Stanley Cup contender or even a playoff contender possesses. It's pathetic, and simply put, the Flyers need to get their heads out of their -- well, again, you get the point.

Did you want some more analysis than that? Oh, sorry. I'm going to mail it in during the third period.

After the jump, an updated look at the playoff picture, questions with answers and the comment of the night. Check out the new widget on the right sidebar of each page for the lowlights.

Playoff Race

  • 5th: Ottawa - 55 GP, 64 pts (won tonight)
  • 6th: Atlanta - 53 GP, 56 pts (won tonight)
  • 7th: Philadelphia - 52 GP, 55 pts (lost tonight)
  • 8th: Florida - 53 GP, 55 pts (didn't play)
  • 9th: NY Rangers - 54 GP, 55 pts (didn't play)
  • 10th: Montreal - 55 GP, 55 pts (didn't play)
  • 11th: Boston - 51 GP, 54 pts (didn't play)
  • 12th: Tampa Bay - 52 GP, 54 pts (didn't play)
  • 13th: NY Islanders - 54 GP, 54 pts (lost tonight)

Questions With Answers

  1. Can the Flyers effectively shut down Kovalchuk? Nope. As mentioned, he skated right through the Flyers top defensive pairing to score the goal that gave the Thrashers the spark they needed to win the game.
  2. How does the power play fare tonight after it being a focus in practice on Monday? 0-for-3, but they had a lot more puck movement and it did look better.
  3. The Thrashers can be a streaky team, just as the Flyers can. Does either team seem to mail it in at any point during the game tonight? Um, the Flyers. Epically.
  4. Will the Flyers be in sixth place come the end of the night? No, but the Islanders didn't win so they're just in 7th. It's a lot of luck.

Comment of the Night

Someone needs to turn the switch to the "ON" position again.

>> jello44

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