(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
A lot of blown opportunities hurt the Flyers Thursday night in their home opener against the Ducks. Philadelphia’s inability to capitalize on multiple powerplay opportunities played a big role in the loss, as did spotty defensive zone coverage. The club has now lost three straight games.
The Flyers received goals from Wayne Simmonds (3) and Matt Read (4) in the loss. Defensively, the Flyers have really struggled these last few games and good coverage has been erratic. At this point, however, I wouldn’t necessarily panic just yet. Getting their systems play in sync, in addition to making cleaner passes to another would go a long way in fixing some of the issues we’ve seen the last three games. Players are getting caught one and two steps behind the play; that’s the real issue here. The good news is being that things like this can be corrected, as it’s not as if there is a fundamental flaw in how the team is built. The current players on the team just need to be better.
Losing goaltender Steve Mason turned away 17 of 20 shots in the team’s third straight loss. Neither one of the Flyers’ goaltenders have been great lately, although Mase made some good stops last night. The first goal was one that he needed to stop, however, as the puck beat him between the arm. It did look as if Mason got a piece of the puck, but a piece simply won’t do. It’s a save he needed to make.
Here’s the game’s final thought:
Final Thought: Has Matt Read rediscovered his game?
Through the team’s first four games of the season, Matt Read has averaged a goal-per-game. Offensively, Read’s game appeared to have plateaued in recent seasons, but the 30 year-old forward is now skating better than he has in recent seasons too. It could go a long way in improving the club’s offense if Read could be productive in the scoresheet again. So far so good for Reader.