Results this week: Habs 4, Flyers 3 (SO); Ducks 4, Flyers 3 (SO)
Current record: 0-2-2, 2 points
Record at this point last year: 1-3-0, 2 points
Upcoming schedule: Oct 18 at Stars, Oct 21 at Blackhawks, Oct 22 at Penguins
Not to make excuses, but this early schedule does the Flyers no favors. Someone pointed out during the game the other night that the Flyers will face the last eight teams who won the Stanley Cup in October in rapid order. That’s some tough sledding for anyone.
The first two periods of the Montreal game were some of the most complete hockey the Flyers have played. They dominated, got pucks at Price, Emery was great, they kept Simmonds going (who absolutely could NOT be hotter right now) and jumped out to that gleaming 3-0 lead.
And then the roof fell in.
It was like they didn’t come out of the locker room for the third period. The Habs hemmed them into the zone for long stretches of time, playing a puck possession game that eventually wore the Flyers out and allowed Montreal to score three goals in 7:35 and tie the game. From there, it was a simple matter of the Flyers being the Flyers and being terrible as always in the shootout, and the Canadiens stole what looked like to be a sure two points and the first win of the season from the orange and black.
The Flyers got behind 2-0 to the Ducks after one period and it felt like one of those nights. However, they used the power play to get two goals back and knot it up in the second. Then another collapse; with seventeen seconds left in the second period, they allowed the third Anaheim goal. That third goal felt like a backbreaker, and it would have been had it not been for a tremendous individual effort by Jake Voracek to roof a ridiculous backhander past Ducks goalie Andersen late in the third period. With the game tied again, it felt like they could win this one, but once again the shootout proved the downfall of the Flyers as they lost another in as many games, garnering just the loser point once again.
-Game 1: “Coburn you suck!”. Game 3: “man I wish we had Coburn back already.” For his part, Coburn could play as soon as this week. He’s got to be better than Nick Schultz, right? Right?
-I’m not a fan of Steve Mason in back-to-backs this early in the season. Yes, I understand it’s the home opener and people bought very expensive tickets to see your number one goalie, but you’re in the business of WINNING GAMES and getting points. Save the back-to-backs for later in the year when Mason is hot and the defense is playing better in front of him.
-Ray Emery did just fine against the Habs. It’s good to see him get some action and get going; he’ll be an outstanding backup for us once again.
-There was a scary moment with Nick Grossmann going into the boards awkwardly the other night and staying down for a while. It looked like it was pretty serious, but he eventually made his way back to the bench. With the defensemen corps already fragile and frankly mediocre, they really can’t afford to lose anyone that has any talent whatsoever.
-The Flyers aren’t having problems scoring, it’s stopping the other team from scoring that’s bad. Once the kids come up, I’m convinced they will be much improved. But it won’t be this year.
-One last point: it’s important that the Flyers get what they can out of each game, both experience-wise and points. Two points may seem like a downer now, but every point matters at the end of the year, especially for a team that probably won’t have a lot of cushion when it comes to making the playoffs.