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Optimism vs Pessimism: Flyers play well, still lose to Pens in SO

[TSN Recap] - [Boxscore] - [Pittsburgh Reaction]

Final - 12.17.2009 1 2 3 OT SO Total
Pittsburgh Penguins 1 1 0 0 1 3
Philadelphia Flyers 1 1 0 0 0 2

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Well, at least they got a point.

Despite doing just about everything right, the Flyers still fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in a shootout. They controlled five-on-five play, looked solid on the power play, and showed up to the arena tonight with a lot of heart, but still walked away without a point.

There are two schools of thought on this. You can be a pessimist and say that it's the same old Flyers, and no matter how well they played, they still lost the game and that's all that mattered. The penalty kill looked terrible. The shootout looked worse. Moral victories don't matter, right? This team is just bad, and they lost another game. 

Or, you can be optimistic. The Flyers played well enough to win tonight, and in a lot of ways, they just didn't get the luck. Marc-Andre Fleury stole yet another game away from the orange and black, and you can't blame the home team for that..

In reality, it's a mixture of the two. There are reasons to be pessimistic. The Flyers still took a few terrible penalties. They looked the opposite of good on the penalty kill. There are reasons to be optimistic. In a lot of this game, played better than the Penguins. The chemistry between Scott Hartnell and Jeff Carter was fantastic, and the team received positive contributions from all four lines.

Regardless of which logic you subscribe to, you can make a solid argument.

After the jump, a few more thoughts, questions with answers, and the comment of the night.

Some more assorted thoughts...

  • Chris Pronger made a few bad plays on the PK, but none was worse than a clearing attempt in which he put it right on Crosby's stick about 10 feet from the goal. Crosby roofed it to tie the game.
  • In the first period, Crosby took a high stick to the face, but embellished like the world was ending. On the ensuing power play, the Penguins tied the game at one.
  • "We know we can play with them." - Jeff Carter
  • The penalties still need to stop. While Crosby embellished on the first one, it was still a penalty. Throughout the game, the lack of discipline still continues to haunt.
  • The Penguins practice shootouts, and Dan Bylsma makes it fun for them. Should the Flyers, a team that's historically been terrible at picking up the Bettman point, take up similar preparation?
  • Dan Carcillo looked quite good as well.
  • There were a few questionable calls in this one, including one on Carcillo in overtime and a no call on Evgeni Malkin in the third, but they were in no way the reason the Flyers lost the game.

Comment of the Night

Come On Boys! Go out there and bite someone if you have to, lets get this thing turned around tonight. ...

>> M from Pdaddy

Questions With Answers

  1. 60 minute effort? 65 minutes, actually.
  2. Can Boosh turn in a solid performance? Continually is coming up huge for the Flyers.
  3. Can the Flyers beef up on the power play and the PK, which both didn't look too great on Tuesday? We didn't get much of a look at the PP, but the PK was the reason they lost tonight.
  4. How does Dan Carcillo play, one game after being arguably the Flyers best player? Looked good on the PP again, as weird as that sounds. All around hard work from Carbomb.
  5. How's Betts look in his first game back? Played about 14 minutes, went 8 for 14 in the faceoff circle. Looked like Blair Betts.