PHILADELPHIA -- Sometimes in a hockey game, there are signs that it's just not your night.
When a backup goalie on a team that played a game 500 miles away less than 24 hours earlier comes in to your building and makes 40 saves, that's generally one of those signs. That's exactly what happened to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night as Curtis McElhinney walked in to Wells Fargo Center and stole two points for his Anaheim Ducks.
The Flyers, led by the Scott Hartnell - Danny Briere - Ville Leino line, really dominated the entire contest. Those three showed their first glimpses of what we came to expect from them during the 2010 postseason. Briere said after the game that they could've scored five goals easily tonight. Unfortunately, McElhinney didn't allow that to happen.
The story of tonight's game really isn't the Anaheim netminder, however. It's not that the Flyers played poorly or that Sergei Bobrovsky had a bit of a shaky game. No, the real story of the game is the quality of the chances the Flyers got on McElhinney and the Ducks. Of 42 shots on goal, less than half of them were actually quality scoring chances.
It doesn't matter who's in net or how weak the opposing defense is when that happens. The Flyers need to do a better job of penetrating and getting shots through to the net. It's really that simple. Until that happens, they're going to keep giving away points on home ice.
The Phillies are on, so no bullet points tonight. We'll probably chime in tomorrow morning with some more assorted thoughts on tonight's loss. For now, just questions with answers and the comment of the night, after the jump.
Questions with Answers
- Lots of shuffling on the PP the last few days. Does it pay off? Not really. The power play looked better, but they're still too fancy with the puck and not putting enough pucks on the net.
- How's Bobrovsky look? He was shaky on both the first goal and the game-winner, but the loss was not his fault.
- Anaheim's defense is atrocious. Can the Flyers take advantage? Not one bit. The Ducks actually had 28 blocked shots tonight.
- Two most penalized teams in the league. Does that live up to the hype? Not really. The officials did call the game pretty tightly, but even a George Parros-Jody Shelley fight sucked.
Jody Shelley ice time watch. Over/under set at 3 minutes. 2:05. Not a second of ice time in the third period.
Comment of the Night
Flyers, year after year, game after game, turning back-up goalies into Patrick Roy.