Alright. I'm gonna write this entire recap without making any references to sleeping. This is not going to be easy.
The Flyers lost a hockey game tonight. And with their loss, coupled with wins by the Islanders, Capitals and Jets, the ever-so-faint glimmer of a playoff hope was completely extinguished tonight. This team is not very good, and it will not be playing hockey for a few months beginning two weeks from next Saturday.
And tonight's game really didn't look too different from your garden-variety 2013 Flyers loss. Other team wins most of the puck battles, gets a couple of goals thanks to laughable defensive breakdowns (in tonight's case, both Ottawa goals came off of breakaways, including one on a FREAKING POWER PLAY FOR GOD'S SAKE), takes advantage of some poor discipline on Philly's end. Y'know. The usual.
It's almost hard to figure out what's left to say about this team. Just like on Tuesday night, they knew that they had to win this game if they want any remotely realistic shot at the playoffs. And yet they were beaten thoroughly from the outset. Whether that's because Ottawa is just a much better team or because the Flyers just don't give a crap anymore is up for debate, but this team's been thoroughly outhustled for the better part of its last four games, and in the home stretch of the season that's just ridiculous.
We said in the preview that the end result doesn't matter, and that's true. But this team, with the group of players it has, should not be scoring only three goals total in a three-game span, the way they are right now.
Very quick bullets:
Ice time: Senators | Flyers | H2H
Shots: Differential | Full report
Shift charts | Zone starts | Faceoffs
* After spending all of the last two days talking about Ilya Bryzgalov and his habits in team meetings, I wonder how much we'll actually hear about how he played on the ice tonight? Bryz was excellent, and unquestionably the best player on the ice for the Flyers and maybe the best player on the ice period. He got beat on both goals -- again, two breakaways -- but otherwise he made several big saves and was the only reason this game was even close. He was also kinda angry about something after the game. Not sure what, though.
* Seriously, how exactly does a team let a game-winning goal happen on a breakaway while shorthanded? Isn't your job as a penalty killer basically to make sure that doesn't happen? Hell of a pass by Patrick Wiercioch to Colin Greening between Matt Read and Kimmo Timonen to make it happen, but still. Yikes.
* That goal came as a byproduct of a double-minor on a high sticking call to Claude Giroux, which is a shame because other than Bryz he looked like the best Flyer on the ice tonight. Pretty, pretty deflection on a pass from Simon Gagne while shorthanded to set up the team's lone goal. That Gagne-Giroux-Voracek line ended with nine shots on net, which is cool.
* The PK did look good other than the one breakaway goal, but the power play drought reached five games and looked quite crappy in both of its two chances.
* Lastly: please just don't look at that Corsi chart. It's a trainwreck. Except for Erik Gustafsson, apparently.
Questions to Answer:
- Following his
benching for being a LAZY SLEEPING PERSONfirst game off in two months, how's Ilya Bryzgalov look in net? Bryz looked fan-freaking-tastic, thank you very much. Taking Tuesday night off seemed to treat him well. Loss is not on him at all.
- Something chippy usually happens when the Flyers and Sens play. Anything go on there? Jay Rosehill took a dumb roughing penalty. That was about it. Very tame.
- Does Sean Couturier's ice time continue to frustrate us? Kinda. 15:49. Fifth-most ice time among forwards, behind the aforementioned top line and Matt Read. But it's progress.
- On Tuesday the team's top defensemen were Erik Gustafsson and Kent Huskins, rather than Kimmo Timonen and Luke Schenn. Seriously. Tonight? Schenn got the most minutes, by far, at 25:18. Timonen was second, at 21:43.
- Fans have pretty much raised the white flag now, so what's the crowd like at the WFC? Differing reports, including one that Bryz got an ovation pre-game, but from the sounds of things it was fairly tame.
- Will anyone be seen #Rihannaing? THEY HAD PICTURES OF DOGS RIHANNAING OMG btw that was the only good thing about the Sportsnet broadcast because good grief they were terrible otherwise.
Comment of the Night:
I'm lost. and ducks are taking over.
-- Brock, even though I have no clue what this is referring to. Gamethread was very quiet tonight, guys.
Silver Seven for the Sens' side. Buffalo on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. We'll find something to talk about between now and then, I think. Go Flyers.