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Sabres Embarrass Flyers, Er Phantoms, 9-3

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Would you believe the Flyers actually had a 2-0 lead in this game?  Yeah, me neither.  But it's true, as the Flyers lead by two more than half-way through the first period.  That lead was gone 93 seconds later though, as the Sabres scored twice in 45 seconds. 

Seeing as how the Flyers top line was Guerin - Powe - Nodl, this cannot be much of a surprise.  But the way this team played tonight, with more than a couple of jobs up in the air, should be an embarrassment to all who participated.  I must admit that I stopped watching to eat dinner right after Buffalo scored to make it 9-3, so it doesn't appear that I missed much.

As Tim Saunders and Chris Therien said at the end of the second period - Not a single Flyer had a good game - was entirely true.  With that as the backdrop, let's bullet point those egregiously guilty offenders.

  • Matt Walker gets the top spot despite scoring a goal.  It's unclear just how many goals against were his fault, but I'm pretty sure that number was between 3 and 4, depending upon (unavailable) review of one of the goals.  For whatever reason, Walker just kept turning the puck over.  For someone who's already overpaid for the role he's expected to fill, you can't help but think the Flyers have a better option to sit in the press box.
  • Unfortunately, Oskars Bartulis - who costs a third as much as Walker - was almost as terrible as Walker tonight.  With Walker giving Bartulis an obvious advantage in a fight for the 7th spot, Bartulis did nothing to prove he deserves it.  Whether it was getting outmuscled along the boards or unable to clear the front of the net, Bartulis was responsible for multiple goals tonight as well.
  • With those two performing so poorly, the second most talked about player so far - Erik Gustafsson - should have had a great opportunity to swoop in and take a spot.  Unfortunately, he also had a brutal game.  It even prompted Kreider to demand that he be cut immediately.  It was pretty bad, but tonight - as in the rest of the preseason - Gustafsson was not nearly as terrible as Walker and Bartulis.
  • Marc-Andre Bourdon did not have a great game - if you only blame Walker for 3 goals, the fourth goes against Bourdon - but he was mostly invisible in comparison to the other two.  It's conceivable that he jumps over both Walker and Bartulis - while staying ahead of Gustafsson - to start the year in Pittsburgh, but somehow I doubt the team chooses him.
  • The rest of the defense - Andrej Meszaros and Dan Jancevski - weren't noticeably terrible, but that isn't necessarily a compliment.  Meszaros was a minus-2 just like Bartulis, while Jancevski was a minus-1, just like Walker.  The difference though, is that the other 4 guys were sooooo much worse.  Minor victory for Meszaros?  Eh.
  • Dan Carcillo got ejected, and nobody is really sure why.  Maybe this hurts his chances of making the team, but nobody stepped up and forced their way onto the lineup.
  • Mike Testwuide scored!  WHOOOOOOO!
  • Johan Backlund got absolutely zero help from his team.  He gave up 7 goals on 20 shots, but he made a couple of real nice saves and could have stopped maybe two of them.  Ryan Miller would have given up 5 goals behind that defense at least.

That's about it for the game, as either the rest of the team was invisible or dragged down by those listed above.  If you have anything to add, feel free to jump in.

Comment of the Night

I thought they were showing replays of the other 5 goals they had…

BroadStreetBully, unfortunately, they were goals 6 and 7