It was just a boring hockey game, despite the fact that I was actually extremely excited before this one started. And really, I had every reason to be. The Flyers dominate Carolina almost all the time, and I was excited to see two young defensemen in the lineup. Of course, it sucked that Chris Pronger and Braydon Coburn were out, but still. There were plenty of storylines to keep the game interesting.
What played out was basically anything but. The Flyers looked sluggish from the outset, getting beat to just about all the loose pucks by a Carolina team that played just last night. On the penalty kill, the Flyers were especially bad, breaking down defensively and ultimately allowing two goals by a Hurricanes power play that was on a streak of 0-for-approximately-a-billion just as recently as yesterday.
They weren't sharp, they looked disinterested and Peter Laviolette was clearly infuriated over it all after the game. Rightfully so. It was just one of those games where the Flyers didn't seem as involved in the game as their opponent, and you're never going to win those games.
On the bright side, James van Riemsdyk was great tonight.
And Kevin Marshall and Marc-Andre Bourdon stepped in and played pretty well. They weren't perfect, but they didn't look out of place at all and seemed like they belonged on the ice. That's especially impressive given the fact that they played in Syracuse on Saturday, Bridgeport on Sunday, then returned to Glens Falls before taking the trip to Philadelphia today. That's 900 miles of travel in three days, all by car, with three hockey games on top of it.
Against the Islanders and their horrible third jerseys on Wednesday night, the Flyers are going to have to be better all around. Although, then again, it is the Islanders.
Questions with Answers
- Why is it that the Flyers and Hurricanes always play each other in bunches like this? I realize this can't be answered tonight, but whatever. Mhm.
- The Hurricanes won last night, but before that hadn't scored a goal in about a week. After the game in Winnipeg, this seems like the perfect rebound night for the Flyers defense. Is it? Uhh and yes we asked this question before we knew there would be major shakeups on the blueline tonight. The defense wasn't awful tonight. But nobody was necessarily good and the whole rebound thing certainly wasn't there.
- How do Marshall and Bourdon look tonight in their NHL debuts? They looked fine, if unspectacular. Defensemen.
- With the changes on defense, how does the ice time wind up breaking down? Not as extreme as you'd think. Carle led with 25:28, then Meszaros with 24:32, then Timonen with 22:07. Bourdon, Lilja and Marshall finished with 15:49, 14:25 and 14:11, respectively.
- Can the Read-Talbot-Voracek line stay awesome? They weren't together. Read moved up and played with Briere and van Riemsdyk, while Simmonds moved down and played with Talbot and Nodl.
Comment of the Night
There is too much, I will sum up: questionably ref calls, crappy luck, some questionable goaltending and princess Buttercup is supposed to marry Humperdink in little less than half an hour.