Even though the losing streak ended on Tuesday, it was clear that the Flyers were still playing poor hockey. After tonight, things look markedly better.
Yes, the Flyers aren't at the peak of their powers. But the backchecking hustle, cohesion, and eye for the net that had been missing all seemed to be present and accounted for tonight. The bleeding seems to have stopped.
- Right off the bat, Mike Komisarek got five-and-a-game for boarding Dan Carcillo, a hit that initially looked pretty rough, but didn't keep Carcillo out for more than a few minutes. If Dan Carcillo wasn't a Flyer, I'd be pretty pissed. But he is, and I'm not impartial, so I'll downgrade my diagnosis of the event from "dangerous crap" to "Carcillo being Carcillo."
- Claude Giroux is awesome, but could afford to pass less. As could several Flyers, really. This is not a terrible problem, in theory, but real prime shots aren't being taken on a disturbingly regular basis.
- Brian Boucher was crazy good tonight. He didn't have a shot on either goal against, especially the one that went off Mikhail Grabovski's visor. I'm not saying there's a goalie controversy, but I am saying there should be one.
- Speaking of Mikhail Grabovski, he was named second star of the game...for having his face angled the right way when it got hit with a slapshot. The hell?
- Andrej Meszaros, who at one point this season couldn't buy a goal, is now practically the Mike Green of the Flyer blueline. Booming slapshots, and well-advised pinching. Except he has defensive chops and hair that isn't stupid.
- On the opposite side of the defensive spectrum--I don't know if it has something to do with us just skipping over February 29th or not, but Sean O'Donnell suddenly looks at least four years slower and older. He's getting burned on coverages several times a game at this point. No reason not to give Erik Gustafsson some more looks during this stretch run--he might be needed when it matters more.
- NHL.com headline: "Flyers edge Leafs for rare back-to-back wins." This was the Flyers' 18th set of back-to-back wins on the season. Whatever.
- The Flyers are now guaranteed to finish the season over .500. Which is better than the alternative.
- Congratulations to all of you who voted "yes" in today's poll on being correct. Such brilliant prognosticators.
- Congratulations are also in order for the absurdly jam-packed regular season game threads. 1600+ comments. Stick tap.
After the jump, questions answered and a comment of the night.
- Kris Versteeg had his best game as a Flyer when he played against his old team, the Leafs, last week. Can he repeat, especially now that he's back at Air Canada Centre? Not as good as that, but he did play with a lot of jump. Seems to have shaken off the "new kid" jitters, at least on-ice.
- How's Boucher look tonight? Amazing.
- What does Nick Boynton show us this evening? That he can take minors? All in all, not a bad night from him.
- 60 minutes of hockey? There weren't any real protracted lulls, so I'll say yes.
Comment of the Night:
Boosh just blew a snot rocket. haha --Geoff Detweiler
Geoff just got jealous of a snot rocket. -- KreiderDesigns
Canaries in the Well Saturday. Go Flyers.