This game had all the makings of a close one and for a while, it was exactly that. Columbus scored in a relatively back and forth first period, but the Flyers scored twice to open the second. Things were looking good at that point, with the Flyers controlling for a while. Optimism crept into my mind. What a fool I am.
Of course, it was not to stay. Columbus scored next to even things up, and they didn't stop scoring. The final score was 5-2.
The Flyers were very, very bad tonight. It's unfortunate that they're playing their worst hockey entering the toughest stretch of the season. Those are the breaks, though.
Breaking down the Flyers breakdown:
- The Flyers continue to take too many penalties. The sky is blue. The grass is green.
- I think someone's said it before, but I'll say it again: the Flyers live and die by their penalty kill. It looked really good in most cases, but when it looked bad, holy crap, it looked horrible. In the power-play when Columbus managed to take the lead towards the end of the second, the Blue Jackets managed to get 10 shots off. What a disaster that was. It ended up killing them.
- While the score may not say so, Ray Emery looked good tonight. Again, the defense in front of him failed at pretty much every opportunity. Still, Emery made some nice saves at some important times. Didn't matter much, but whatever. His puck-handling leaves a lot to be desired, though. He scares me with some of it. Well, most of it.
- Vinny Lecavalier was put back on the second line. It was dumb. There's really no place for him because no one wants to put him on the fourth line and he doesn't belong anywhere in the top nine at even strength. It just looks like he's slowing everything down. To be fair, Lecavalier did manage to score on the power play (which was nice!), but that isn't where he's been having difficulties, so...
- Speaking of, the power play looked just plain bad on most of their outings. Couldn't win face-offs, couldn't keep the puck in the zone. Also, there was a really weird sequence with a delayed call while already on the power play. The Flyers looked like they were questioning what to do. The answer was give the puck away. Even my mom knew that one.
I really hoped that we wouldn't have to hear that incessant cannon much tonight, but alas, it wasn't mean to be. The wind fell right out of the Flyers sail and it wasn't pretty or enjoyable to watch.
And, on the darker side of things, it's all downhill from here! As Travis mentioned, the Flyers will be taking on their most challenging competition in the next seven games. That's...great.
In the meantime, I'm going to develop a Flyers drinking game, and then I'm going to develop a drinking problem soon after. See ya later.