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PHILADELPHIA -- Thank Kimmo for Rick DiPietro. The Flyers clinched the Atlantic Division and the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference tonight, thanks in large part to the Islanders beleaguered goaltender. As a result, the Flyers will host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.
Really, it was a pretty fitting game. The Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 lead 47 seconds into the game until a Flyers power play derailed their momentum. That sentence doesn't make sense unless you've been following the Flyers for a little bit, which is what made this game so perfect. Up and down the whole way.
From going up 2-0, to being tied at 2 after ten minutes, going up 3-2 within thirty seconds, then blowing that lead two minutes later... you get the point. The Flyers went from two goals up to one goal down in just over twenty minutes of play. But they pulled it out. They won the game and the Division.
After the game, the talk was no longer about the recent slump, but the opportunity ahead. Said Andrej Meszaros, "The last few weeks weren’t that great but overall it was pretty good. Starting now, it is a new season and everybody is excited. Everybody is getting ready for the first game."
Maybe it's just an easy way to gloss over the recent mistakes, but they're right: It's a new season. This team proved last year that anything can happen. They know they have to play better. So now it's time to show it.
Jump for bullets, Questions with Answers, and Comment of the Night.
- On the night where he receives the Barry Ashbee trophy as the team's best defenseman, Andrej Meszaros scored 2 goals and added 2 assists. He's Mike Green with an edge.
- Rick DiPietro is terrible. This is not even an over-statement. The Islanders are not a bad hockey team when healthy, and with a better goalie. Only ten more years, Isles fans.
Matt Carle continues to be a stud in Pronger's absence. He may be coming close to taking the "most underrated player" title away from Kimmo Timonen.
- Sean O`Donnell continues to try and play his way out of the lineup. Despite playing nearly six more minutes, Carle allowed the Islanders fewer even-strength shots on goal than O`Donnell. With Danny Syvret having another quietly steady game, it's time for DSOD to to overtake SOD in the top-6.
- Let's not start a goalie controversy. Sergei Bobrovsky gave up a weak third goal, but the first two were hardly his fault. And the team stopped playing after going up 2-0. He should be your starter. He will be your playoff starter. He is your starter.
- That said, Brian Boucher came in and played a great game. The one goal he gave up... wasn't good, but he made up for a lot of defensive mistakes.
- Speaking of defensive mistakes, can we please stop giving up breakaways? Far too often, the Flyers let guys get behind them. Stop it. Now.
Questions with Answers
- The HBL line was fantastic in Buffalo. More? We'll find out on Thursday. See what I did there?
- More goodness from Sergei Bobrovsky? Unfortunately no. Though he wasn't bad either.
- James van Riemsdyk had a huge game last time out against the Islanders. Could use that again, huh? No need when you have The Meszaros.
- Okay, can I buy that Atlantic Division stuff tonight? YES.
Comment of the Night
FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE LOCKOUT, THE FLYERS HAVE WON THE ATLANTIC DIVISION!!!!!!!