Pucks Hit Skates, Hats Hit Ice--Flyers Fall 4-2 in Newark Stinker

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 01: Patrik Elias #26 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates scoring a shorthanded goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period of an NHL hockey game at the Prudential Center on April 1, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Well, that was annoying.

For the most part, the Flyers played pretty well tonight.  James van Riemsdyk scored an incredibly pretty goal off a Mike Richards feed in the first to open the scoring, and a tremendous shift in the third led Jeff Carter to knot the contest at 2-2.

But then with two goals off skates, the Devils walk away with a win, a collection of hats for Patrik Elias, and one more day of keeping delusion alive.

The play is there for the Flyers, even as they lose a second straight game to a non-playoff team.  They just appear to lack that killer instinct.  When things get to be do-or-die come playoff time, that instinct should reappear, theoretically.  Here's hoping, anyhow.

  • Andreas Nodl was a scratch tonight, wtih Nikolay Zherdev playing in his place.  Now that he seems to be giving a better effort, Zherdev is undoubtedly the better player.  Since scoring wins hockey games, I can't complain about this move at all.
  • What I can complain about is the bizarrely Boudreauian power play strategy the Flyers have employed recently, putting a forward on the point.  Hopefully the way JVR got burned for a shorthanded goal in the second leads to some reconsideration of that strategy.  Andrej Meszaros, Braydon Coburn, Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle are all extremely capable power play defensemen--no need to get fancy.
  • That said, this team clearly is not the same without Chris Pronger.  I've been reading a lot of Justin Bieber interviews lately, and I bet he'd have a lot to say about this (predominantly Canadian) group's lack of swagger right now.  Or to put it less modernly, there's not a whole lot of bullying going on right now.
  • They handed out second star to a guy (Nick Palmieri) for having a goal go off his skate? Really? Shoulda gone to Hedberg instead.  The Moose, to put it in slightly tennis-y terminology, really doesn't ever seem to beat himself.
  • No need to panic, people.  Washington may win the conference, sure, but it will take a lot more for the Atlantic to slip away.

    After the jump, questions answered and a comment of the night.

Questions Answered:

  1. Road game means win or something like that, right? Might've used up our quota of road wins.
  2. Danny Briere's line has been strong in the last two games. Three-peat? Wasn't horrible, but didn't do anything.
  3. Are the Devils mathematically alive after tonight? Yes, but "alive" in the same way as Sisqo's career is.
  4. Johan Hedberg has been annoying this season. Can the Flyers solve him, and can the luck actually fall our way tonight in terms of the bounces and all that? He's very, very solid. The two goals the Flyers did score were amazing by necessity.

Comment of the Night:

Flipped it back off to save energy. This is the Flyers way of going green. Didn’t you hear? --Iconious13, on the Flyers' switch going on and off.

We'll take Manhattan on Sunday. Go Flyers.

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