There is very little to say about tonight's 3-0 loss to the no-longer-scoreless-or-losing-ten-in-a-row New Jersey Devils, which might have actually topped last Saturday's game in Buffalo as the most unexciting game of the season, but let's try to come up with something. Things I noticed:
* Just coming off of a fresh, two-year contract extension yesterday, Jay Rosehill was absent from tonight's lineup, with Mike Knuble taking his place. CSN's Lisa Hillary suggested that he may have some sort of eye injury that kept him out of the lineup, but Tim Panaccio said later that it was a healthy scratch. Get that money, Jay.
* Usually when you see long stretches of play where teams are going without a stoppage it's good, exciting hockey in both directions. The first period of today's game involved a stretch of 8:21 interrupted and I cannot recall a single exciting thing that happened during it. Two shots on goal taken in total during that time. April hockey!
* Some really awful turnovers all-around tonight, including one in the neutral zone on each of the Devils' non-empty net goals and another one by Jakub Voracek in the defensive zone while on the power play that left Stephen Gionta completely alone in the slot. It did seem like they were trying to be too fancy -- there were several occasions on which guys looked like they should've shot it and just held onto it too long and/or tried to make a fancy pass.
* The young guys on D, who've picked up some praise lately for their efforts, didn't have their best nights. Gustafsson mishandled the puck on the turnover that led to the first goal, Manning generally looked all out of place on the third pairing with Foster, and Lauridsen got less ice time than both of those guys which tells you most of what you need to know about his night. (He did get in a kind-of fight with David Clarkson, though.)
* Everyone was mad in the second period when Andy Greene threw Scott Hartnell (happy birthday!) into the boards and no penalty was called, and I hated it in real-time as well. But it did look like Hartnell turned right as Greene hit him, so I guess I get the no-call. Not that it'd have mattered - the power play, as you could guess, was atrocious again tonight.
* Not quite sure how, but the Flyers managed to make Ryan Carter look like Wayne Gretzky tonight. One goal, at least three other high-quality chances that I can remember. Fourth-line madness.
* Days after playing more minutes than any forward on the team in a game where the offense actually looked existent, Sean Couturier had the fifth-most ice time among Flyers forwards (16:38), behind the top-line guys and Matt Read. Not that he was lighting it on fire or anything, but if seems like something worth noting. If Erik Gustafsson's getting 26 minutes (!), they clearly aren't worried about giving the young guys some ice time, so may as well let him loose in this final week. Try him on the top line or something. Why the heck not.
* Ilya Bryzgalov made his first appearance since Steve Mason stole the city of Philadelphia's heart last Tuesday night. And he was, well, OK. Made some very nice saves at points, covering up for some of the aforementioned turnovers. He also let in two goals -- one on a shot on a rush by Carter that looked like it tipped off Voracek's stick and took an awkward angle, one that came after a partial breakaway by Matt D'Agostini. The second one was one he probably could've had, but either way, not really looking to blame it on him when the team doesn't score any goals. Kinda your typical Bryz in 2013 game. But they lost, and he was in net, so you'd better believe the Steve For Starter campaign picked up some gas. Everyone hide.
* This game was on national television. This game. How rich.
Four more games, guys. We can do it.
Questions with Answers:
- Can the Flyers keep the Devils off the board? The Flyers: good for what ails your team's offense.
- Considering that Bryz is in net and the Devils can't score for their lives, how does that impact the ongoing narrative regarding the Flyers goalie situation? Strader and Engblom didn't bring up the "controversy" at all, if I remember correctly, so they didn't quite feed into it there. But otherwise, like I said above. They lost, he was in net. Narrative moves onward.
- In reality, how does Bryzgalov play? OK. Two goals against. One which looked like it was deflected, one which was a quasi-breakaway but still definitely one he could've had. Some nice saves as well.
- The offense has come for the Flyers in the last two games. Does that continue? LOL
Comment of the Night:
He stole a car on the way to the rink and got busted.
Off to Raleigh on Saturday evening for the Hurricanes. Go Flyers.