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Bruins 3, Flyers 0: We are not mad, we are laughing actually

Have you ever felt so aware of your own mortality?

Spoiler alert: this didn’t go in the net.

This recap’s working title:

Call me a pessimist, call me what you want, but I was still right.

You already know the Flyers lost this one. I mean, you should’ve guessed they were going to. Oh, you thought good things happen in this world? You thought “come on, they had a couple days off, things might look better here” because somehow this team hasn’t absolutely killed your spirit and will to live? Well, wrong. So wrong. Sad!

The Flyers dropped their tenth (10th) straight game, this time in a shut-out. No excuses for this one. They were just playing poorly. This is a team that had every opportunity to show up, playing at home and well-rested, but they didn’t. The Bruins took control in the first period and never relinquished it, racking up more shots and skating in circles around the Flyers. It was a demoralizing loss on top of a pile of demoralizing losses, one after another.

The Flyers just did not have the execution this game. The effort was present, there were a few good looks by some key players, and Brian Elliott had a strong game, but the team didn’t look good as a whole. The passes were clunky and they couldn’t skate on Boston’s level; we’ve seen it all before, and there doesn’t look to be an end in sight.

I sacrificed my beautiful Saturday afternoon to this team. The least you can do is read this recap, right?

The period started off with Sean Couturier drawing a hooking penalty on David Pastrnak, not even a minute into the game. This looked like good news! The Flyers needed some kind of spark to start their game, and this looked like the answer.

Except it wasn’t, obviously. The Flyers did not score. The power play was, in fact, not great. The passes didn’t quite connect, the team looked like they weren’t operating on the same wavelengths, the shots weren’t particularly dangerous; it looked like the same old tired story. There were a couple moments that looked promising, including a great shot by Ivan Provorov, but the Flyers couldn’t come up with a goal there. You saw that coming, though.

The rest of the period would essentially be controlled by the Bruins. The Flyers had a couple opportunities, but Tuukka Rask had all the answers, and there were very few moments where you felt like the Flyers looked close to scoring.

Elliott’s first twenty minutes were solid, however, even on a risky play that saw him coming way out of his net to prevent a breakaway by Brad Marchand on a Sean Couturier turnover. The Bruins spent a lot of time camping out in the Flyers zone, and the shots certainly reflected that. Elliott looked comfortable in his net and kept the score even through the first half of the period.

Saving us from a horribly boring start to the game, Wayne Simmonds and Kevan Miller dropped the gloves. Hey, Kevan, buddy, did no one tell you not to fight Wayne Simmonds? We witnessed Simmonds committing homicide on center ice. Both players took their five for fighting; the trade-off definitely could’ve been better, but whatever gets this team going is fine by me.

The period was defined by the Flyers having disastrous turnovers. The passing was just not there, and there were several players who were culprits here. Nolan Patrick in particular had the most egregious example, where his awful no-look pass turned into a breakaway by Ryan Spooner. Andrew MacDonald (oh yeah, that guy) chased after Spooner, but he was just a little bit too slow. Elliott didn’t have much of a chance on that one. 1-0 Bruins.

The last several minutes of the period came to a head with a high hit by Provorov on Marchand. The Bruins were not happy with him, and neither were the refs. Marchand went down the tunnel, and the Bruins went on the power play with 4:23 left on the clock.

The Flyers’ penalty kill gave up a few shots straight away, and as a whole they needed a little bit more energy, but fortunately they did manage to suppress the Bruins power play. This game looked winnable at this point!

(The game was not winnable.)

AFTER ONE: 1-0 Bruins, shots 15-8 Bruins

The second period was just soul-crushing to watch and I have to admit that I blacked out from rage maybe five minutes in. This recap is about to go severely downhill and I welcome you on this journey with me.

The Flyers looked like they had a little bit more energy to start off this period, but it was a ruse, a mere illusion. A rush to the net by Simmonds did end up drawing a penalty on Boston, this time on Miller. Yes, the same one! The Flyers went on the power play, and there was a glimmer of hope, if you’re the type of person who believes in hope anymore.

The Flyers gave up a shorthanded opportunity by Patrice Bergeron right away, which seemed about appropriate. The rest of the power play looked better than their first of the night, but aside from one opportunity by Simmonds on a breakaway and a few good looks from the second unit, it was still nothing to write home about.

Both teams traded shots back and forth, but Boston’s next goal would come straight off the face-off. This time, it was Robert Hagg’s error that cost the Flyers. He simply wasn’t covering his man, and Pastrnak jumped on the loose puck, surprising Elliott and putting the Bruins up 2-0. At this point, my vision started spotting, and the rest of the period looked to me like an abstract watercolor painting.

Then Marchand scored the next goal on a dominant play by Boston’s top line. Nothing much else to say to that. 3-0 Bruins.

A promising opportunity came from Travis Konecny on a breakaway, but he could not lift the puck over Rask’s pads, and the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center was not very happy with him.

The Flyers did end up drawing a hooking penalty on Zdeno Chara, but at this point you know that good things don’t happen for us, so after one minute of another uneventful powerplay, Shayne Gostisbehere would be called for a cross-checking penalty. 4-on-4 hockey, then a half-off Boston powerplay to follow. Exciting! I’m having fun!

Nothing happens, of course.

The 5-on-5 hockey didn’t last long, as with 1:38 left in the period, Gostisbehere drew a penalty on his way back. Back to the power play we go.

Then, a light at the end of the tunnel, a spark of hope: Claude Giroux scored a hockey goal! It looked like we wouldn’t actually be shut out!

I’m just kidding, you guys. I’m just making fun. Claude Giroux did not actually score a goal, at least not according to our illustrious referees. Boston used their coach’s challenge. Goaltender interference, they said. That’s preposterous, we said. Except it wasn’t preposterous. No goal. Really, no goal.

AFTER TWO: 3-0 Bruins, shots 23-18 Bruins

The Flyers looked frustrated to kick off this period, and honestly, I just can’t blame them. The period as a whole was an underwhelming affair. There were opportunities at both ends, but it was clear that the Flyers didn’t have much else left in them, and the Bruins were more than able to keep the game tipped in their favor.

There was a flukey non-goal by the Bruins, tipped in by a high stick and therefore illegal, but the refs spent long enough going over it that for a moment there it really did look like they were going to give it to them. That would have been very funny, in my opinion.

The Flyers would get their fifth power play of the night on a Charlie McAvoy penalty, but of course they did not score, and gave up a shorthanded opportunity to boot. The Bruins killed it easily, and then took yet another penalty almost immediately afterwards.

The Flyers were given so many chances to turn this game around, all handed to them on a silver platter, and instead they knocked the platter out of the referees’ hands and said “fuck off.” This power play looked a little better than some of their previous efforts, but they still couldn’t get a goal out of it. 0-6 on the powerplay in this game. I am laughing.

The horn sounds. The Wells Fargo Center is pissed. We are all one day closer to the heat death of our universe.

AFTER THREE: 3-0 Bruins, shots 27-27