After the way things have been going lately, we all could really use a break, and thankfully, the Flyers delivered. Tonight's win over the Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a four game losing streak and is hopefully a sign of things to come.
For the first time in what seems like forever, the Flyers got the scoring going after Brayden Schenn deflected a Jake Voracek shot past Sergei Bobrovsky. Not exactly a pretty goal, but given that this team hasn't had a lead in about two weeks, I'll take it.
Of course, right after the goal, the Blue Jackets went on the power play and TAKE A WILD GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. Boone Jenner, who has a totally awesome name, shot the puck into a wide open net due to the Flyers' possibly non-existent penalty kill. The goal went under review because it seemed like it may have just deflected off the crossbar, but we all knew in our hearts that it was good.
All in all, the first was a fairly even period -- neither team seemed to outplay the other, and both goalies were tested with some quality chances. Luckily, the Flyers were the ones with the 2-1 lead thanks to a Mark Streit goal (more on that below).
The Flyers definitely took control of the game in the second, thanks in large part to a number of power play opportunities. After a few unsuccessful bids, the Flyers were able to notch a goal on the man advantage from none other than Wayne Simmonds. That goal proved to be the only one of the period, and it seemed as though the Flyers had a victory within reach.
My pre-victory celebration was squashed just two minutes into the third, when Matt Calvert tipped a beautiful Jack Skille pass into the net. God damnit. Regardless, Braydon Coburn scored shortly thereafter, so I was eventually able to make peace with the Calvert goal. Plus, the Flyers ended up winning, so who cares?
Here are some of Al's Awesome Observations™:
- For one reason or another, Craig Berube decided to play seven defensemen tonight. Maybe it's because he thinks that if you play two sixth defensemen, it equals a third, or something. Regardless, this led to some interesting on-the-fly line combinations as he shuffled forwards to play alongside Zac Rinaldo and Pierre Edouard Bellemare. I don't fully understand Berube's decision here, but I rarely understand a damn thing that man does.
- Speaking of Berube's baffling decisions, uhhh, Zac Rinaldo saw some time on the power play tonight. Rinaldo did end up drawing a penalty on that shift, but man, that is just one coaching decision that I will never understand.
- For having such a steaming turd of a penalty kill, the Flyers sure liked playing short handed tonight. By the end of the first, they had already given the Blue Jackets three power play chances and surrendered a goal on one of them. Sure, some of those calls were fairly iffy, but if you're going to stink up a storm while shorthanded, maybe, I don't know, PLAY WITH SOME GOSH DARN DISCIPLINE.
- Going into this game, I was really looking forward to seeing some more of Scott Laughton. I can't say that he had quite the game that he had on Thursday night, but he looked decent enough. His performance last night was enough to earn him some penalty kill time in the first, but that may have been more of a "why the hell not this penalty kill is steaming hot garbage" kind of thing.
- Mark Streit scored for the second game in a row by going deep in the offensive zone. Streit has pretty much always looked good when he joins the rush, so it's no wonder he's been seeing some success lately. And with the Flyers only icing 11 forwards, maybe he was trying to fill a void tonight or something.
- Aside from drawing a penalty while inexplicably on the power play, Rinaldo contributed to this game in a big way if you're the kind of person who thinks "fighting" does anything to help your team. I say "fight" because I'm not entirely sure if any hits were landed by either Rinaldo or his dance partner, Jared Boll. But you better believe that Rinaldo's whole (gigantic) heart was put into it, because he fell right on his butt after missing a punch. According to Keith Jones, that "fight" willed Mark Streit to score so that was pretty cool I guess.
- Jake Voracek is a certified beast. That is all.
- This is not all that exciting because of last week, but Scott Hartnell made his second trip to Philly tonight. He had a 2 on 0 chance in the first, but tipped it wide of the net [insert Hartnell joke here]. Other than that, nothing of note happened with him. Meh.
- Giroux got an assist on the Mark Streit goal, making that the 400th point of his NHL career. Giroux is really good, and hopefully he'll still be in Philadelphia when he scores his 4,000,000th point.