After four straight uncomfortable losses in which the Flyers proved an inability to play a full 60 minutes of hockey, the same thing happened again tonight. Only difference, of course, is that they won the game.
Yes, the first period was fantastic tonight for the Philadelphia Flyers. They did everything they've talked about over the last few days -- getting pucks deep, winning puck battles, strong defense, all that stuff. They played so well in the first period that the Edmonton Oilers were only able to put one shot on net. One shot. In the entire period. And that shot came from the point, off a deflection, on the power play.
It was an impressive period, to say the least. Afterwards, though, as the Flyers took a 2-0 lead into the dressing room, things began to unravel a bit. The Flyers sat back and the Oilers slowly worked their way back into the game. Of course, this is Edmonton and really, they probably didn't have much of a chance no matter how poorly the Flyers played, but that doesn't make it all sunshine and roses for the orange and black.
Chris Pronger was extremely angry after the game, and if you only caught his post-game chat, you'd probably think this was a loss, not a win. In my opinion, that's a good thing. It shows that despite the two points, it's all about focusing on the way they're playing at this time of the year -- not necessarily the results.
If they play 60 full minutes right now and dominate the Oilers from start to finish, but for whatever reason wind up losing the game, it's not that hard to swallow. If they play 20 minutes and win the game, it is hard to swallow. It doesn't necessarily feel like a win.
Then again, it is a win, and the way they played in the first period showed a lot. There's a lot to be happy about tonight -- like the Bruins losing and stuff, that's good too -- but at the same time, it's not all great. If this were another team but the Oilers, we might not be so happy tonight. Baby steps, right?
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Questions with Answers
- The worst team in the NHL is the perfect medicine for a four-game slump, right? Yep.
- Carcillo and Shelley both in tonight. How's that go? Didn't really notice them, except that one time Darroll Powe got hit from behind and Shelley, on the ice, did nothing about it.
- After a day off, do the Flyers look as tired as they have lately? They looked much better. They seemed to have energy. As Peter Laviolette said, they just didn't use that energy in the last 40 minutes.
- How's Jeff Carter look after recovering from the flu that really seemed to kick his ass? Two goals. Almost three. 30 on the year. I'll take it.
Comment of the Night
You gotta love how Geoff is a lightning rod for internet crazy.