Flyers Bounce Back After Rough Stretch
Flyers vs Canes (Flyers 5 - Canes 1) The Flyers bounced back with much better play against the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night. Scott Hartnell got the Flyers on the board early in the first. The Giroux, Hartnell, Jagr line had a big night with Giroux getting 4pts (goal, three assists), Jagr getting two goals and Hartnell a goal and two assists. A nine point night for that line alone. Talbot had the other goal, shorthanded. Overall this was a much better showing for the Flyers, including some gentlemanly maneuvers from Peter Laviolette. Did you notice who played the final power play in the third for the Flyers? It was Shelley, Rinaldo and Courterier if I recall. With the score 5-1, no reason to rub it in I guess. Nice gesture from the coach which tells those players he was happy with the way they played. All three had great games, regardless of not being on the score sheet. Courterier has been a nice surprise for a 19yr old. Rinaldo has played with high energy since he was called up during last seasons playoff series against the Boston Bruins, so no surprise there. I’ll tell you who’s played much better is Jody Shelley. He’s been around the net and making nice passes for a guy who typically uses his fists more than his playing to make a living.
As for Bryz, he played a much better game than the previous couple. He made some good saves when we needed them and his confidence looked fine to me. In fact, the only goal he did allow was not really his fault at all. During Canes pressure in the Flyers defensive zone the Canes managed an in close shot which Bryz stopped with no problem. However, on the same play it looked like Hartnell was trying to help out sliding by the crease and he slid right into Bryz taking him out of the play completely with no chance for Bryz to get back to the crease. Jussi Jokinen scored into an empty net. That was more of us stepping on our own feet and probably trying to do too much around Bryz (knowing his confidence was a bit low). Instead it put the Canes on the board to tie it up at 1-1 3mins into the second period. Bryz looked solid after that goal though. There are two things they need to work on, his rebounds at times are long and communications with the defense must get better. Flyers fans can rest easy though, there is no goalie controversy in Philadelphia like there has been for the last 10yrs, Bryz is a top flite goalie. I’ve watched him in Phoenix for the last couple years and he is THE reason they even made the playoffs.
Has everyone noticed there is no one wearing the “C” while Pronger is recovering? The Flyers have been rotating an additional “A” among the players. Max Talbot was wearing the extra “A” last night. Talbot has been a great addition to the Flyers. He was a guy we hated when he played for the Penguins but the guy you’d love to have on your team. I am glad he’s a Flyer, he’s a defensive expert too. Wayne Simmonds is another great pick up that’s been playing well. He’s another player I’ve watched over the last couple years and told everyone they would like having him here as a Flyer.
KICK SAVES……(additional comments)
The Flyers did a nice job of avoiding the stupid penalties last night. They ended up with three minor penalties for the game. Personally, I think this has a lot to do with the officiating of any given game. The refs should not be “noticed” during a game and sometimes they make numerous weak calls and are noticed. This disrupst the flow of a game and doesn’t allow a team to gel and get into a groove for the game. The officiating in the NHL, in general, needs to be better. Two improvements would help the NHL, remove the instigator penalty and reduce the refs to one per game with two linesman. Too often, like last night, you see the refs getting in the way of the play and disrupting a potential pasing play along the boards.