This having-a-lead-and-then-giving-it-up thing is getting to be a trend, as for the fourth game in a row tonight in Ottawa, the Philadelphia Flyers gave up a lead beyond the midway point of the hockey game.
After yesterday's win over the Senators in Philly, Peter Laviolette tried to focus on the positives -- that even though they've been giving up those leads, they've been able to win games.
"I like our team. I think we have a hard working team and certainly we don't like to give up leads. I may have flipped it to the positive and said we came back from 2-1 tonight, but we'll look at it your way if you want. It's a resilient group."
He can't flip it to the positive tonight. The Flyers had a two-goal cushion in the third period and coughed it up, allowing one of the NHL's best third period teams to walk all over them and ultimately score four goals in the third for a 6-4 win. It's getting really, really old, and there's really nothing positive about it.
There's plenty of blame to go around. Ilya Bryzgalov seems to be taking a lot of the heat, and he did give up a few weak goals today. But most of the scorn should be directed at the rest of the team, namely the defense, who just absolutely could not hold on to the puck.
It comes down to being smart when it's on your stick, and the Flyers as a whole were not smart with the puck on their stick today, especially once they got the lead. Erik Karlsson's game-tying goal in the third could be introduced as Exhibit A.
The Flyers have the puck in the opposing zone. Two Flyers in the vicinity of the puck, yet somehow Karlsson is able to pick it up and skate the length of the ice and score a goal. Should Bryzgalov stop this? Yes. Should it ever even get to him? Hell and no.
This sort of play happened time and time again tonight, and it happened in all three zones on the ice. Usually, it didn't lead directly to a goal, but when you're giving up the puck at the opposing blue line and you're making silly decisions when clearing the puck from your own zone, it's going to come back and bite you. It's one really easy way to let the opposition back into a game they're trailing, and it's exactly how the Flyers did so tonight.
Questions with Answers
- Any carryover, for either team, from the emotion of Saturday's game? Didn't notice much. Zac Rinaldo fought Zenon Konopka in the first minute of the game, but that's about it.
- What about from a physical perspective? Yeah, what answer No. 1 said.
- Ilya Bryzgalov was phenomenal on Saturday. Again? He was not. Craig Anderson was great for Ottawa, but the Flyers still beat him four times. It should have been enough to win the game.
- What's Danny Briere do for an encore? Nothing at all.
Comment of the Night
Seems disgustingly familiar.
>> Dr. Steve