I'm having trouble coming up with words to describe tonight's game, which is generally a pretty big problem for somebody who writes about hockey games. I told myself during the lockout that I'd never be bored by a hockey game again, but just a month into the season ... yeah, that was a boring hockey game. A 3-2 shootout loss.
Oh, but I know what you're thinking: The shootout is exciting! /jokes //yawn
Let's just get right to the damn bullet points and end this thing as quickly as possible.
* Once again, it was special teams that doomed the Flyers. I wouldn't blame the penalty kill so much, even though the game-tying goal in the third period did come while Florida was up a man. The power play, however, missed two opportunities in the third while the score was tied. Hurts.
* On Florida's first goal, a Jack Skille tally in the first period, Zac Rinaldo just got flat-out beat in the neutral zone. Skille used his speed to cut through the neutral zone, but Zac was a little flat-footed and not ready for the burst. Skille easily gained the blue line and the defense couldn't compensate quickly enough. Skille used Kimmo Timonen as a screen and that's all she wrote. Bryzgalov probably should've made the stop but he's been great all year so whatever.
* Tom Sestito followed up his two-goal game with 4:18 in total ice time, for all of you who were actually serious about him being a skill guy after Tuesday's performance.
* Matt Read just needs to play all his games against Florida. Four goals in two games vs. the Panthers now.
* The Flyers generated a lot of shots tonight. 32 on goal. Jake Voracek took six attempts, four of which hit the net, and the top line of Tye McGinn, Claude Giroux and Danny Briere combined for 10 on goal on their own.
* Shootouts suck. The numbers say Ilya Bryzgalov is not much worse at shootouts than the average goalie, but who really cares? Shootouts suck. Shootouts suck. Shootouts suck.
* Eh, guess the one point is alright.
Questions with Answers
1. How many goals does Tom Sestito score tonight?
Back to fantasy camp.
2. The Flyers' defense was vastly improved Tuesday in limiting Tampa's time and space with the puck. More of the same tonight vs. the Panthers?
I thought they were generally fine again tonight. Could've been a little tighter on the first goal, I guess, but all things considered this wasn't a glaring issue tonight.
3. Jonathan Huberdeau has points in his last three games. Can the Flyers limit him?
Does the shootout winner count? Can you answer a question with another question? Can you answer a question about another question with another question?
4. This isn't a question, really, but I have a feeling Tye McGinn scores a goal tonight. So there's that.
5. Brayden Schenn hasn't seen the ice much in recent games. Can he break out and earn some extra time tonight?
Yes, actually. Schenn played 18:26 tonight, up from the just-over-10-minutes he played on Tuesday. Had a couple cracks at the net, some PP time, etc.
Comment of the Night
How long does the shootout have to go before we see Sestito?