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Opening preseason play at the Wachovia Center seemed to spark the Flyers as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead slightly over seven minutes into the first period, never to look back. James van Riemsdyk scored twice to lead the Flyers, furthering his quest to open the year in Philadelphia.
Overall, there were many positives to take from this game. Ray Emery was strong, stopping 28 of 30 shots. Danny Briere, well aware of the criticism surrounding his injury-filled 2008-2009 campaign, opened the scoring 36 seconds in. Mika Pyorala strengthened his case for a roster spot with a goal and an assist, and Dan Carcillo showed some skills with a breakaway backhander over Osgood's glove en route to a two point game.
Compared to the first three contests this preseason, the Flyers played well throughout the game in all areas. The one thing that continues to linger, though, is the penalties. The team took six minor penalties compared to Detroit's two. Repeat offender Scott Hartnell, however, was not one of those to feel shame. Co-offender Dan Carcillo fell victim to his reputation when an elbowing penalty was called despite Carcillo using his shoulder, only to flare his elbow out after contact. The penalty was called by the far ref, who - believe it or not - had a better angle than the near one. Warranted or not, this is a problem Carcillo will have to deal with throughout the season - possibly longer - until he can alter his image.
For those that missed the game, here are a few things you can take out of it:
- Mika Pyorala is making a very strong case to be on this team, despite playing less than 12 minutes tonight.
- Though he finished minus-1 on the night - the only Flyer to do so - Danny Syvret had a strong game. If Randy Jones keeps receiving middling reviews, there could be a three-way competition to be the 6th defenseman.
- Maybe Dan Carcillo is becoming more focused - blown penalty notwithstanding - as he had two points and was a +2.
- Ray Emery can and should be an effective goalie for this team.
- Lastly, the running theme of this preseason: JVR is making it hard for Homer and Stevens to send him to the Adirondacks. And that's all he can do.