Eric Hartline -- US PRESSWIRE
When you live outside of the Delaware Valley and rely on NHL GameCenter, an Internet service, to watch Philadelphia Flyers games, it can be tough to do so when your Internet isn't working. That was the case for me tonight, as I was relegated to watching Twitter on my phone for the first 25 or so minutes of the game against the Florida Panthers, which turned out to be a 2-1 loss.
When my connection returned about midway through the game, I had already had some knowledge what was going on. People were saying that the Flyers needed to "wake up" and that this was turning into a predictable trap game. When I flipped my computer open, I jumped all the way back to the first period and started watching, expecting to see a flat team without any jump.
It was the exact opposite. The Flyers dominated the first period tonight. They out-shot the Panthers, they out-hustled the Panthers, they out-chanced the Panthers. They forced Florida into taking several penalties, and most of them simply the byproduct of sustained pressure in the offensive end of the ice. The bounces didn't go their way, and with a few minutes left in the period, the Panthers caught the Flyers in transition and Stephen Weiss scored a beauty of a goal off the rush.
For the first five minutes or so of the second period, the Flyers did look flat. The tables seemed turned. Jaromir Jagr took an obstruction penalty just like the Panthers had in the first, and the only difference was that Florida was able to capitalize on their man advantage.
From that point on, it seemed to me that the Flyers controlled much of the hockey game. Eric Wellwood got a bounce on his goal just a minute and a half after Sean Bergenheim made it a 2-0 game, but that was about the only bounce the Flyers got tonight. For at least 30 of 60 minutes, if not more, they seemed to out-work, out-chance and out-hustle the Florida Panthers.
They were plenty awake. They weren't trapped by a seemingly weak Southeast Division opponent. They just didn't get the bounces. It's two lost points in the stretch of the regular season, but in the grand scheme of things, if the Flyers play like this most nights, they're going to win the majority of their games. It's hard to get worked up about that.
Questions with Answers
- Two slow starts in a row for the Flyers. It's night time now, so that should stop, correct? Wasn't a slow start tonight at all, nope.
- Can the Flyers get to red-hot Jose Theodore? Considering he didn't play, I guess not.
- How does the defense look with Pavel Kubina back in the mix? Kubina got caught out of position on the Panthers' first goal, but generally the defense looked plenty competent.
- There are always tickets available on the secondary market, but it looks as though the Flyers have tickets available directly tonight as well. It's been 70-straight "sold out" games in Philly. Does that end tonight? Lots of writers in attendance tonight doubted it, but the Flyers did announce a sell out, their 71st straight according to the Daily News. There have been a lot of empty seats all year, especially for games against teams like the Panthers. Doesn't mean they aren't sold, just means people aren't using them.
Comment of the Night
Don't have jam? Peanut butter and Welly instead.