If I went into tonight's game imagining something other than a blowout, I'd probably be mildly upset with the outcome. Really, this game was infinitely more fun than I believed it would be. Is that because I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst? Possibly.
The Flyers played an incredibly good first period, outplaying the Ducks and surprising the hell out of me. They had some really clean neutral zone play, they drew penalties, and they had some good puck movement on the ensuing power plays. Deflections were the devil, though, and the Flyers were down 2-1 going into the second.
The second period was less good. They kept pace for a while, but after Steve Downie was caught out of position, a four on two developed. The Ducks finished on the opportunity, Perry slipping it past Mason easily. Matt Read got the game within one early in the third and a late power play gave the Flyers a chance to tie it up.
A pass from Kimmo Timonen got broken up by Koivu. On the two-on-one, Winnik beat Mason. The Flyers didn't give up and didn't stop trying to get back in the game, but that shorty killed the Flyers. So it goes, friends.
- High risk plays had no place in this type of game, and for some reason, they're amazingly common for the Flyers when they're playing confidently. Ill-advised pinches and passes were the major thorn in the side tonight.
- It got super chippy in the second and it made for some really entertaining hockey. Anytime I get to see Sean Couturier get all feisty, I'm a happy camper.
- One step forward and two steps back for Steve Downie in this one. He took Ryan Getzlaf off the ice for five minutes after some violent hugging which was awesome, but made risky choices that didn't work out. It sucks, because he's a good player when he isn't busy being an idiot.
- Despite the fact that their play didn't register with a goal, the first line...man, they were nice tonight. It felt like every shift they were on the ice, the Ducks were penned in their defensive zone. Scott Hartnell, in particular, has been great. He's looked so tenacious along the boards lately and it's been leading to some of the Flyers best chances.
- Lastly, don't be mean to Kimmo Timonen. He didn't play well tonight, I know. That doesn't mean he's "bad" or "useless" or "terrible". In fact, quit using those adjectives within a five mile radius of Kimmo, because how dare you.
I'm mostly happy that, for all of the Flyers faults, they battled well against the best team in the NHL. The Flyers looked like they belonged in a match-up against Anaheim. When you realize how good the Ducks are overall, that means something.
In the end, though, the mistakes that the Flyers maybe could have gotten away with against a lesser team ended up making them pay. That's life.
It's one thirty in the morning now and I'm tired. The Flyers lost, but it's whatever. Back at it on Saturday against LA.