Slow starts don't mean anything, apparently.
For the ninth time this season, the Flyers have come from behind and won, tying a franchise record. I don't know why, but they somehow manage to get things done. It's infuriating at times, and it's blatantly un-fun others, but hell if it isn't full of drama.
This game started off as a majority of previous games have: the other team scored first. John Tavares was left pretty much wide open in front of the net, so when Vanek dished it to him, the Islanders emerged with an easy lead. Not long after, the Flyers were awarded with a power play that ended up doing more damage than good. Cal Clutterbuck (yeah, that Cal Clutterbuck) netted a shorty and again, the Flyers had their work cut out for them.
Andrej Meszaros got the Flyers on the board with a fluky one, but then closed out the first with an absolute beauty. The second period was a seesaw: the Flyers took the lead, but then lost it as the Islanders scored two to take the lead yet again. Subsequently, Steve Mason was benched.
Of course, the third was a major turnaround. Ray Emery only had to make five saves because a lot of the time, the Flyers controlled the play. Some really big stops from Poulin made it seem like maybe the comeback was simply not meant to be, but alas, the chances the Flyers had eventually registered. Jake Voracek and Michael Raffl scored (both goals assisted by Claude Giroux), and Matt Read got the empty netter that sealed it.
Some assorted notes:
- Seriously...Andrej Meszaros. Pretty great, right?
- There was plenty of line shifting tonight, so it seems like Berube has noticed what I'm going to call The Vinny Lecavalier Problem. Lecavalier was put up on the first line for a while, but by the third period, that experiment was over and the Raffl-Giroux-Voracek line was reunited. They connected for the evener and the game winner, so it seems like the problem rages on.
- The Islanders are often criticized for being top heavy, but that was certainly not the case tonight. More than half of their skaters got a point tonight. That says something about our defense, I think.
- Only two penalties taken tonight! Cause for celebration!
- On the day of his controversial contract extension, Mason was benched. I do understand that it was a "statement," but it still seemed pretty unfair to me, seeing as the goals were ones he had no chance at stopping. He stood tall, especially in the second period, making game-saving stops in rapid succession. I just hate the idea of punishing a goalie for the play of the team in front of him. I think it's dumb. Sue me.
- Despite Meszaros's recent evolution into Mesz 2.0, the defense was absolutely horrendous. Again. I wish we could stop harping on it, but really, it's getting embarrassing.
Wins like this are exhilarating and exciting, but they aren't exactly comforting in the grand scheme of things. The Flyers play commandingly in certain periods, and in others, play as though they've forgotten what the point of the game is.
Still, as I pointed out in the preview, the Islanders have been winning against really good teams lately, so maybe they just take the points and resolve to get a better start on Monday.
No matter what, wins are good! Two points! Go Flyers!