Entering the series with Boston, everyone predicted a low-scoring defensive battle. One 5-4 game later and that doesn't seem true any more.
What about the defensive battle, you ask. The official shot totals were 46-36 in favor of Boston, but it was 32-31 in favor of the Flyers entering the extra frame. While not a high-shooting affair, that's not exactly a defensive battle either.
With that in mind, we look at individual performances. As usual, we'll start with zone start bullets.
To look at the entire zone start information, click here.
- The Flyers were guilty of icing the puck six times in yesterday's game. Factoring those out, there were 19 defensive zone draws and 18 offensive.
- For all six, either Kimmo Timonen (3) or Matt Carle (3) were on the ice. That's bad and good.
- Ville Leino (5), Danny Briere (4) and Scott Hartnell (4) iced the puck a lot. That's definitely not good.
- Of the 19 non-icing defensive zone draws, Mike Richards was on the ice for 10 of them. Timonen and Braydon Coburn were next in line, with 9 each.
Jared Ross (0), Ryan Parent (2), Lukas Krajicek (3), James van Riemsdyk (3), Ville Leino (3), and Danny Briere (3) were out for the least non-icing defensive zone draws.
- In terms of zone start leaders, Darroll Powe and Blair Betts had 7 more non-icing defensive zone starts than offensive zone starts to lead the team.
- JVR, Leino, and Briere had 4 more offensive zone starts than non-icing defensive to lead the team there.
To get the whole Corsi table, click here.
|Player||Goals||Saved Shots||Missed Shots||Fenwick||Blocked Shots||Corsi|
Trying something new here, but the top three performers in Corsi are in bold and the bottom three are italicized. If I was better at computer graphics, I'd do something else, but I'm not, so... yeah.
We'll still go through everything in the same way though, so let's start:
Shots on Goal
The Flyers were outshot 41-32 at even strength, so the players who finished in the positives are few and far between. The role players stepped up and finished in the positive including Ryan Parent, Arron Asham, and Jared Ross, but the star players also finished in the positive, including Claude Giroux, Mike Richards, and James van Riemsdyk.
The problem though, was the second line. Allowing three even-strength goals is never good, but Briere (-10), Timonen (-9), Leino (-9), and Scott Hartnell (-7) were especially bad at controlling the play. Obviously, part of that can be explained by the defensive zone draws they were on the ice for, but them icing the puck only compounded the problem. It's difficult to conclude which caused the other, but the two go hand in hand.
Fenwick (SOG + Missed Shots)
The Flyers finished a terrible minus-19 in Fenwick (by a count of 54-35), largely aided by Boston's inability to put the puck on net. This theme continues from the first round, where New Jersey was consistently unable to hit the target. Obviously, with such a large disparity on the team level, Parent and van Riemsdyk finishing in the positives is quite an accomplishment. While Parent had the second fewest defensive starts on the team (ahead of only Jared Ross), van Riemsdyk had as many as Andreas Nodl and Claude Giroux, who didn't have any result from an icing. Despite this - and Briere's terrible defense - van Riemsdyk outshot the Bruins.
When you couple that with Hartnell's minus-11, it becomes painfully obvious why the two switched spots in the lineup. One was actually controlling the play and the other wasn't. I'm sure Hartnell gliding back to the bench, thus creating a Bruins 2-on-1 didn't help either. But the three worst offenders in Fenwick are the same three from shots on goal: Briere (-14), Timonen (-18), and Leino (-14). When Hartnell (-11) and Coburn (-11) round out the bottom five, you have every member of this team's second line getting severely outplayed. The two worst offenders would be Briere and Leino, since they had virtually neutral zone starts, and were hidden when taking icings into account.
Corsi (Fenwick + Blocked Shots)
The Bruins led in shots fired 72-48, good for a plus-24 rating. That's pretty bad, especially considering the Flyers never held a lead in this game. Trailing for so long in the game should result in the Flyers controlling the play and outshooting the Bruins, but that didn't happen at all. As mentioned above, the three best and worst are highlighted in the table. Continuing the common theme, Briere (-19), Timonen (-21), and Leino (-14) were the worst offenders. Parent (+2), Ross (+1), and van Riemsdyk (+1) were the best performers.
Just by watching the game, anybody (apparently not The Hockey News) could have seen how badly Danny Briere played yesterday. Not surprisingly, this rubbed off on his linemates - Ville Leino, Scott Hartnell, and Kimmo Timonen - but somehow didn't affect James van Riemsdyk. As the only skater to play at least 12 minutes and finish with a positive Corsi (and Fenwick), van Riemsdyk truly did play well yesterday. Looking at these numbers explain why he was promoted up to the second line.
Going forward, the Flyers will need Briere and Leino to play a lot better. Briere can start by not standing around while his man goes to the net and hammers it home. Small steps.