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Flyers vs. Maple Leafs: A few thoughts on the preseason opener

The Flyers kicked off the preseason last night with a 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs. Here are a few thoughts.


If there's one thing I think we try to preach here at BSH when we write about hockey, it's that you shouldn't put too much stock in a single game or a single shift or whatever. One game isn't necessarily indicative of a season, one hot stretch doesn't mean a player is the next Gretzky.

But let's throw out all of that, go against everything we've ever believed, and put together some thoughts using just the six-minute highlight package of last night's preseason opener against the Maple Leafs. Living outside the Philly area, I couldn't watch the game (which is another rant entirely), so here are a few thoughts based on what I could see...

First, the basics: Toronto jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals from Nazem Kadri, Troy Bodie and Mason Raymond. The Flyers responded with goals from Doug Clarkson, Brayden Schenn and Nick Cousins before Paul Ranger scored the game-winner at the 8:41 mark of the second. Both Steve Mason and Anthony Stolarz were in goal.

* Erik Gustafsson, on the day we highlighted him in our season preview series, looked pretty rough. He pinched way too tightly and allowed a two-on-one in the first period that led to a Nazem Kadri goal. He and Luke Schenn also teamed up for an ugly turnover near the blue line in the second period that nearly led to a goal. On Toronto's fourth goal, I'm not really sure what more he could've done tasked with two oncoming forwards, but it wasn't pretty.

* Gus did put the puck on net that led to the Flyers second goal, however. A lot of pretty puck movement led to the chance, which Brayden Schenn tipped in from the doorstep.

* Also on that first goal, Hal Gill looked silly. Kadri danced around him like he was a giant, sliding parking cone.

* The second goal was pretty ugly, too. Nicklas Grossmann and Andrej Meszaros got worked behind the net by Frederik Gauthier and Jamie Devane, a pair of players were zero (0) NHL games under their belts. They got the puck back in front where Troy Bodie slipped in behind three Flyers forwards -- Doug Clarkson, Nick Cousins and Brayden Schenn -- for a wide open crack at the net.

* This line seemed pretty loud throughout the game. Later in the first, Grossmann threw a puck on net from out near the blue line and the trio of forwards successfully got traffic in front of James Reimer, who never saw the shot. Clarkson was credited with the goal. Then two minutes later, he dropped the gloves with David Broll. They fought to a draw, perhaps a slight win for Broll.

* Third Leafs goal was just a rough bounce. It popped over Tye McGinn's stick at the blue line with the Flyers on the power play and led to a shorthanded breakaway.

* Gill missed the net wide with a shot on the third goal, and it was Nick Cousins who was in position to pick it up on the other side of the net. Pretty easy tap in goal on a puck that went right to his stick.

* It's hard to know without watching the game, but following along during the game on Twitter, there were a lot of comments about how soft Steve Mason looked in the first period. I'm not sure any of the goals were his fault necessarily, but giving up three goals in 10 minutes isn't something that can be spun positively.

* The Toronto Maple Leafs: really good at blowing 3-goal leads.

Any other thoughts you had, especially if you watched the full game on the CSN broadcast? Leave 'em in the comments.