Hockey's a funny game. Through eight games, the Flyers had been one of the best teams in the league at controlling even strength possession and generating shots towards the goal. They compiled a 2-6 record in those games. Tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Flyers lost the total shot attempt battle by a count of 91 (!) to 41. They won, 5-3.
Just crazy stuff. Carolina controlled the entire third period, basically, and the Flyers blocked 32 shots en route to the win. Ilya Bryzgalov was also brilliant, stopping 42 Hurricanes shots on goal. He's been the Flyers best player all season long and none more than tonight.
The goal scoring finally happened tonight, and the power play broke out. Maybe that's in part due to the fact that Carolina's really bad on the penalty kill, but either way, power play goals are important (understatement) and the Flyers scored three of them tonight.
They certainly weren't perfect. Turnovers were again a big problem, they didn't play a full 60 minutes and generally, the defense was again poor. But it was improvement, and more importantly, it's two points in the standings. Only two points out of the final playoff spot! (heh)
Questions with Answers
1. ... power play? *cricket noise*
Power play! Perfect on the power play!
2. Can the defense tighten up?
Eh. I guess there was improvement from what things have been recently but not even really close to acceptable in my eyes just yet.
3. A completed pass would be great. Like, from one Flyers' stick to another one. I know we're setting the bar low here guys, but can this happen?
There was at least one completed pass in this hockey game.
4. If he starts, is Bryz still brilliant?
Best player on the team, still.
5. On the positive side, Tye McGinn looked really good against Washington and could get a really big opportunity with Simmonds out. How does he perform tonight?
McGinn was again great. He got a huge opportunity on both the top line and the top PP unit and took complete advantage. Notably, he got a nice screen on Cam Ward on Claude Giroux's second period goal.
Comment of the Night
Dunno who's watching the Canes' broadcast but now I really want Bojangles.