The Flyers fell in the season opener vs. the Penguins, but all things consider, it wasn't the worst performance.
That's not exactly how we drew it up, is it? After waiting 256 days for Flyers hockey (and admittedly, still riding the high of last year's playoff win vs. Pittsburgh a bit), we were expecting another win at the Wells Fargo Center to kick off the 2013 season.
But in familiar Flyers fashion, it was one weak period that did them in, and thus, a 3-1 loss and an 0-1-0 record. Philly dominated possession and control of the game for much of the final 40 minutes, but they looked a bit lost in the first. Pittsburgh came in and walked all over the Flyers in all three zones during the first period, I thought, and it resulted in two goals that the Flyers could never gain back.
The second and third periods were much better. Pressure on Marc-Andre Fleury, finding the readily-available holes in the Pens defense, winning battles along the boards, solid puck movement. But if there's one aspect of the game the Flyers couldn't take over, it was the power play. They went 0-for-5 with the man advantage in the game.
It seems to be consensus that the Flyers' first PP unit of Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voracek and Kimmo Timonen looked good for much of their opportunities, but that the second unit of Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Kurtis Foster and Andrej Meszaros looked like utter crap. Something to work on, for sure. Could have been the difference in the game today.
A few more assorted thoughts:
* Ilya Bryzgalov wasn't a storyline in any way, shape or form. Guess we'll take that as a good thing.
* Thought Brayden Schenn had a pretty rough game, and his ice time took a hit, so perhaps Peter Laviolette agreed. Brayden played just 13:55. Only Scott Laughton, Zac Rinaldo, Ruslan Fedotenko and Eric Wellwood skated less. Schenn's supposed to be a first line guy, remember.
* On defense, the Flyers leaned heavily on Braydon Coburn and Nicklas Grossmann. In terms of even strength ice time, those two played north of 18 minutes while Kimmo Timonen and Luke Schenn played 15:33 and 15:07, respectively. Andrej Meszaros played 14:45 and Foster played just 10:45. Kimmo picked up a lot of special teams minutes, as is typical, and Schenn did a lot of penalty killing.
* Eric Wellwood had a really good game and deserves more ice time. For real. And to think, he was battling for ice time both in camp this past week and all season under Terry Murray. Was one of the Flyers' best forwards today.
* Officiating was rough.
* Sidney Crosby felt pretty invisible, so that's always nice.
* Honestly, didn't pay too much attention to Scott Laughton. He didn't stand out, so that's good, but I want to go back and have another look at his game before commenting too much.
* We expected some rust to start, and it's not the end of the world that the team didn't look all that sharp in the first period after such a short training camp and such a long offseason. Encouraged by the final 40 to 50 minutes, for sure.
The Flyers are at PHL for a flight to Buffalo at 7:30 tonight. Quick turnaround for tomorrow's 12:30 puck drop. We'll forget this one and move on.
Comment of the Day
Flyers haven't scored since the Eagles hired Chip Kelly.
>> everybodyhitswoohoo, who be trollin'