Annnd..... breathe. Before we get to the reasons why the Flyers lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, let's just take a minute or two to relish in the treat that was the overtime period. It was sloppy hockey, but for pure excitement value, you can't beat that.
Marc Savard ended it at the 13:52 mark, and the sound of the puck hitting the back of the net coincided with NBC taking a deep sigh of relief that they wouldn't have to leave the excitement of this game for meaningless pre-Kentucky Derby coverage.
But it wouldn't have been a problem at all if the Flyers didn't come out so flat in the first period. Boston took it to the Flyers immediately, and it was extremely evident that the orange and black just didn't have their legs. They weren't ready for the tempo of playoff hockey and the Bruins scored two goals because of it.
But from there, the Flyers fought back. Things weren't perfect, and mistakes by Danny Briere in particular led to a goal or two. Scott Hartnell looked rough too, which is becoming the norm. But the Flyers were able to get past their mistakes and find success. It came on the power play, mostly, where the Flyers were able to get bodies in front of Tuukka Rask and get pucks on net. They scored two PP goals in regulation, and a third came immediately after a man advantage.
All things considered, the Flyers have a lot to build on. They outplayed the Bruins in the latter two regulation periods, they had their chances in overtime, and Brian Boucher played out of his mind. We only need one win in Boston, and if they improve upon today's game and learn from the mistakes properly, there's no reason why they won't win on Monday night.
After the jump, questions with answers and the comment of the afternoon.
Questions with Answers
- Will the Flyers dictate the pace from the gate? Will it be apparent that they haven't played in over a week? It was very apparent.
- How do the young guys, Nodl and Ross, perform? They both looked solid. Ross was pretty invisible, which I'd chalk up as a good thing. Nodl was good as well.
- Can the Flyers stay out of the penalty box? For the most part. The officials let them play, so let's hope it stays that way the rest of the series.
- Who replaces Lappy's penalty kill time, and are they effective? Nodl had a lot of it and looked pretty good solid.
- Boston's defensemen will make mistakes (Chara isn't a defenseman, he's superhuman). Will the Flyers capitalize on the chances they inevitably will get? See: Wideman, Dennis and/or Briere's third period goal.
Comment of the Day
Mike Richards just made a nice play in front of Pierre McGuire.
That must have been the greatest moment in Pierre’s life.