After making a late push to force the game to overtime, the Flyers just couldn't grab the win, allowing the Calgary Flames to leave Philadelphia with two points.
Coming into tonight's game, the main narrative was focused on how the Flyers would perform after being sellers at the deadline for the first time in what feels like forever. The answer: meh.
Sean Monahan got the scoring going about halfway through the period, after the Flames took advantage of a turnover by Michael Del Zotto in the neutral zone. There were a couple of Flyers defenders back when the Flames started the rush, but Monahan ended up with the puck on his stick with a lot of room. Oh well.
To be honest, there isn’t much nice to say about the Flyers’ play in the first period. They had a hell of a time getting the puck out of their own zone while maintaining possession, and whenever they hit the Calgary blue line, they either dumped it in or were broken up by the Flames defense. It was an incredibly frustrating period to watch.
That being said, the Giroux line was able to get something going for short stretches of time. That was about the only reason the period ended even in shot attempts and relatively close in scoring chances.
The second period, uhh, didn’t start that much better. The Flames were able to widen the lead after Mikael Backlund benefited from a puck that deflected off Mark Streit’s skate and right onto his stick. What resulted was a point blank shot that Mason had no chance on.
Other than that, I really don’t know what to say. The Flyers continued their sloppy play from the first and spiced that up a bit by not contesting the Flames during zone entries. Not exactly a recipe for success when you’re trying to win a hockey game. They were able to (finally) get a few power play chances, but alas, the Flames penalty killing unit kept the Flyers scoreless.
Luckily, the third period winded up being pretty much an entirely different game.
Sean Couturier got the Flyers on the board early after Ryan White threw him a pass right through the slot. The pass was pretty freaking amazing, and honestly I was surprised it even made it through. Regardless, once the puck got on Couturier's stick, it was definitely going in the net.
After a few seriously unfortunate almost-goals for the Flyers (more on that below), the Flyers were finally able to tie the game when Mark Streit directed a Michael Raffl shot past Karri Ramo. Just like that, a team that was playing like absolute poop was able to bring the game to overtime.
Of course, we can't have nice things, and the Flames won on a JIRI HUDLER goal. BOOOOOO!!
Here are some of Al's Awesome Insights:
- Did you guys know that Johnny Gaudreau is from the Philadelphia region? I never knew that, but luckily the broadcast crew mentioned it about 69 times so I doubt I’ll forget.
- R.J. Umberger had a chance to bury an errant puck past Kari Ramo to tie the game in the third period, but instead shoved the puck through the crease. This is your daily reminder that Umberger is just barely a hockey player.
- Just to kick the Flyers while they were down, shortly after the Umberger flub, the referees waved off a "very-much-a-hockey-goal" goal by Nick Schultz. Here's what went down: Nick Schultz crashed the net, causing the puck to go in. During that play, Schultz was bumped into Ramo, causing both of them to fall. A goal was called on the ice, but after the referees (including one Tim Peel) conferred, they waved it off, claiming that "the goaltender was pushed into the net." Which is nonsense. And also not reviewable. Kurt summed up how much this made perfect sense:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>"It's not reviewable, so we're going to reverse the call on the ice" hey <a href="https://twitter.com/timpeel">@timpeel</a> log off</p>— Kurt (@Kurt_BSH) <a href="https://twitter.com/Kurt_BSH/status/572942363758333952">March 4, 2015</a></blockquote>
- Carlo Colaiacovo doesn't get much fanfare in this area, but he was fairly decent tonight and I think that deserves a mention. Of course, that is just frustrating when you remember that Berube has been benching the guy every night and the chances he walks during free agency are pretty high. Sigh.
Remember that thing I said about the Flyers giving up uncontested zone entries? Maybe this guy would have been helpful tonight:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Just finished zone entry tracking for Coburn's final game. He finishes the year with a breakup percentage of 15%. Highest among defensemen.</p>— Jess (@2_for_slashing) <a href="https://twitter.com/2_for_slashing/status/572930252676050944">March 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
- Claude Giroux's assist on the Mark Streit goal was the 300th of his career. Good for him.
- But seriously, we need someone to blame for tonight’s loss. A scapegoat, if you will. Well let’s dust off the old Blame-O-Meter™ and see who it lands on!
Thanks a lot, Coburn!