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The Curse of Niittymaki: Flyers lose to ThrashJets again

The Philadelphia Flyers again pulled off another almost-comeback against the Winnipeg Jets, but in another game with little defense and lots of scoring, they just couldn't seem to complete the effort.

Just as it did in the 9-8 game against the Jets last month in Philly, it all went downhill early. Defensive breakdowns, bad goaltending, a ton of penalties and absolutely nothing that resembled a forecheck were all problems in the first period for the Flyers, and Winnipeg led 3-1 after the first twenty minutes.

Just as it seemed like the Flyers were settling in, Winnipeg popped in a shorthanded goal five minutes into the second and then another five minutes later to make the score a seemingly insurmountable 5-1. But that's when the Flyers are apparently able to wake up against the ThrashJets, and from that point on, they turned on the heat. Scoring chances were all over the place, but a mix of lucky and good on the part of goalie Ondrej Pavelec kept the pucks mostly out of the net.

The Flyers scored one, kept the pressure up and almost scored another right before the second period buzzer that would've made it a 5-3 game. But again, the bad luck came into play and the goal didn't count. Matt Read did all he could to bring the sexy back in the third period, scoring two goals as the Flyers' charge continued.

In the end, though, it was a silly miscue -- Sergei Bobrovsky coming out of the goal for the extra attacker too soon -- that probably killed the Flyers chances of completing the comeback. In a game where the Flyers took 10 minor penalties (not all deserved, but nevertheless), it's hard to feel too bad for them in defeat.

Simply put, they showed up for this one too late, and the Jets didn't choke it away.

Questions with Answers

  1. How do the Flyers replace Jaromir Jagr? It was hard to tell with so much speciality teams play, but Harry Zolnierczyk got time there, as did Matt Read. It worked. Both looked good, and both Hartnell and Giroux were still effective.
  2. Whoever gets back into the lineup for Jagr, be it Shelley or Nodl, how do they look? Been a while since either of them played. Shelley was awful, as you could have guessed. Only played 2:19 after a horrible giveaway in the first period.
  3. Defensively, the Flyers were horrible against Winnipeg last time out. I mean, obviously. What adjustments are made, and are those adjustments anything more than Oh, Chris Pronger Is Here? They were horrible in the first period, then settled in.
  4. The Jets are another team that takes a lot of penalties. Conversely, the Flyers PP has languished a bit lately. Seems like a good recipe, no? The Jets and Flyers surprisingly both ended up with 28 penalty minutes apiece, but yeah... the power play scored two goals tonight. So that's good.
  5. How is Ilya Bryzgalov received from fans in Winnipeg that he insulted while with the Coyotes? He didn't play, but apparently they put him on the jumbotron in the third period and he waved while getting booed.

Comment of the Night

Antero Niittymaki where are you?

>> jello44