PHILADELPHIA -- Evander Kane said tonight that he and his Atlanta Thrashers knew they were outworking the Philadelphia Flyers throughout tonight's game. One glance at the shot totals at any point in this game would have been a good indication that the Thrashers were on to something.
The Flyers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two periods thanks to some capitalization on the power play and some good work by Ville Leino, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere. Despite the Thrashers controlling play for most of the opening 40 minutes, the Flyers had the lead and a solid handle on two points, a three-game win streak and the game.
So what the hell happened in the third?
As they have done more often than not over the last two and a half weeks, the Flyers sat back like the game was already in hand. They stopped getting pucks deep, they stopped moving their feet and they stopped doing all of the things that have made them the best team in the Eastern Conference this season.
Against a team with nothing to lose but their playoff lives, that just ain't gonna cut it. The Thrashers scored five goals in just over the next 20 minutes, with Ville Leino's hat trick marker thrown in there just for fun. Andrew Ladd scored on a gorgeous pass from Kris Versteeg with just 45 seconds left, and Ron Hainsey scored 1:17 into overtime at the end of a three-on-one rush. Yeah, seriously.
It's a lack of focus. It's a lack of committment. It's disconcerting. It has to stop. Kimmo Timonen basically passed along the same message after the game.
"It seems whenever we get 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, we start turning the puck over, thinking the game is over," he said. "It's not over. That's one of those things we have to change now. We can't wait. We can't, you know, keep making the same mistakes game after game after game. It's going to bite us in the ass."
It's bitten them in the ass five times in two weeks, and that'll keep on happening if they don't figure this out soon. After the jump, questions with answers, shutout jinxers and the comment of the night.
Shutout Jinxers of the Night
Questions with Answers
- Brian Boucher was very good against Toronto. Can Sergei Bobrovsky play at that level tonight? He wasn't the reason they lost. The one goal that snuck through his pads was bad, but other than that, he didn't have much of a chance.
- Jody Shelley scored the most beautiful goal he'll ever score last time these teams met. Encore?! Stupid question. Although apparently, he apologized to the guy he gave his jersey to after the game (fan appreciation night) by saying "Sorry there's no blood on it." That's kind of awesome.
- Atlanta's power play is pretty good, mostly thanks to Dustin Byfuglien's propensity to score on it. Can the PK knock them down a notch? Meh, 1 for 3.
- Kris Versteeg has five points against the Thrashers in three games this season, all with Toronto. He seems to step up against his old teammates, and the fact that the Thrashers are basically the 2010 Blackhawks might have something to do with that. Does it continue tonight? If passing the puck to his old teammate Andrew Ladd, forcing a game-tying goal with 45 seconds left is a good "yes" answer to this question, then sure.
- The best remedy for a four-game losing streak is a four-game winning streak. The Flyers can get to three wins in a row tonight. Does that happen? Go to hell.
Comment of the Night
aw, that sucks.