It sounds strange to say this, but the Islanders simply own the Flyers. The season series has been completely one-sided in terms of the pace of play, the shot counts, and scoring chances. Some remarkable performances from Steve Mason have been the only thing keeping the scores relatively close.
Thursday night was no different.
If you watched the home broadcast you heard Jim Jackson and Keith Jones mentioning every couple of minutes how heavily the Flyers were being outshot. No surprise then to see the Islanders also dominating scoring chances, particularly at even strength.
Home/Away Chance Locations
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Offensively, the Flyers saving grace in this game was Vinny Lecavalier. Since he signed here as a free agent, we've had relatively few opportunities to say that. But the turn around in his game has been noticeable.
The middle of the Flyers lineup got absolutely devastated. Both the Sean Couturier and Scott Laughton line's generated little if any offense and got blitzed in the defensive zone.
After the All-Star break, the Flyers top line seems to have taken a bit of a nose dive defensively. They need to tighten up at both ends of the ice and start being that unstoppable force we saw earlier in the season if the Flyers want to maintain any hope of making the playoffs.
The first line certainly doesn't have a match up to excuse their poor performance. They saw a heaping helping minutes against New York's bottom-6 and couldn't capitalize.
As usual Couturier bore the brunt of difficult minutes, playing almost all of his shifts against John Tavares. It was no contest, with Tavares knocking the Flyers for half a dozen scoring chances.
Many had misgivings about Berube's decision to put Andrew MacDonald and Nick Grossmann together. And that pairing was predictably a disaster defensively.
The rest of the defense wasn't much better.
- Set Up - The primary pass on a scoring chance, including rebounds.
- Chance - The primary shot on a scoring chance, including deflections.
- Involved - The sum of both set ups and chances
Vinny Lecavalier had a touch on almost half of the Flyers scoring chances and he was rewarded with a two point night.