Blog Entry

Flyers have flatlined

Posted on: May 5, 2010 10:25 pm
This was supposed to be a show of desperation for the Philadelphia Flyers, a repeat of the urgency level that got them into the playoffs at the 11th hour and led them to an upset victory in the first round.

That’s what they promised after being stifled in the first two games of the series in Boston. A hard charge, lots of aggression and a fast start.

The Flyers did all that too. They forced a Bruins turnover before some of the fans had even settled into their seats and made it matter as Arron Asham re-directed a nice pass from Claude Giroux to give Philadelphia its first lead of the series.
Problem is they couldn’t hold it. Boston needed less than 100 seconds to draw even and only a couple of minutes after that to score again take control of the game and the series. That was the kind of response the Flyers were supposed to have in this pivotal game, and lacking it they lost 4-1 to fall behind 3-0 in the series.

It’s a hole that only two teams in history have climbed out of and if Game 3 is an indication, Philadelphia won’t be the third. The Flyers were remarkably listless and lacking emotion for a team facing such an untenable situation, and despite outshooting the Bruins by a wide margin, generated little in the way of a sustained attack and few good scoring chances.  No doubt the absence of Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne has negatively impacted Philadelphia’s attack, but the bigger issue is that the Flyers have not shown the willingness to fight their way through the Bruins disciplined defensive scheme. And when they do, rookie goalie Tuukaa Rask has been there.

Rask has actually been the difference in the series, although the Bruins have given him plenty of support by averaging four goals per game. That’s nearly twice as many as their league-worst offense managed during the season when Rask stole the starting job from Tim Thomas, who won the Vezina last year then signed a rich new contract with the Bruins.

But Rask was too good for Boston to ignore, although others around the league may have because the Bruins were a bubble team despite his efforts. And despite his league-leading save percentage and goals-against numbers, Rask is still taking something of a back seat in these playoffs to some like Montreal’s Jaroslav Halak and San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov. But he outplayed Olympic hero Ryan Miller in round one, and has been better than Philadelphia’s Brian Boucher in this series.

Rask had to be sharp early but was at his best in the second period when the Flyers generated their best pressure, making several quality saves to preserve the 2-1 lead Boston put together on goals by Blake Wheeler and Miroslav Satan.

The frustration of going scoreless in the second period carried over into the third for the Flyers and resulted in them taking an early penalty. Mark Recchi made them pay and then Boston went into the lockdown mode it does so well.  On this night, much like in the previous ones in this series, Philadelphia had no answer.

At least not until there were just under three minutes remaining and the home team finally showed a true sense of desperation. Philadelphia pulled Boucher at that point,  but quickly lost the puck near center ice. Patrice Bergeron scored into the empty net to put the game away.

And the series.
Category: NHL

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2010 3:24 am

Flyers have flatlined

Oh, and your "3 Top4 defensemen..." The guys you have in now, are better. Seidenberg sucks (trust me, I've watched him when he was here). McQuaid....a rookie. Wow. Stuart is the one person who is notable out of that group. Boychuk and Wideman are definitely better than the first two. So bottom pairing is out, and than Stuart, who is good for a 2nd pairing. ..................... ok the above was posted by Blitz. you are going by Seidenbergs play with Philly which was what? 5 years ago or so?? Its obvious you havent seen him play this year for the Bruins, cause you wouldnt be saying he sucks.......I think most Bruins fans will agree that next to Chara, Seidenberg was the 2nd best defensemen on the team before he got hurt, he was playing great and was a +9 with Boston........ he was paired with Chara as our # 1 de pairing, so without a doubt he was a top 4 DE on the team, i put him at # 2. Stuart was top 6, maybe top 4.....Chara, Seidenberg, Boychuk, Stuart, Wideman, probably the top 6 if all healthy and id rate them in that order, now of course on PP, Wideman would move up to the 1 or 2 pairing, but all around thats what i think, followed by Hunwick and Mcquaid as the 7-8 guys. so yes were without 2 of our top 2 guys and now one of there replacments........also Sturm is a big loss, lead the team in goals as well as a nice PK guy too, and now Krejci out and Savard still injuries are pretty darn close to even here.....I know Carter and Gagne are big, but we have some good players out too.

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: May 7, 2010 8:36 am

Flyers have flatlined

Your response is even funnier, are you related to the Sniders?  Do you sleep with your Flyers blankey every night?   You didn't address any of the points, check out Boston, how come they have steam rollered the Flyers with injuries?  Briere was a bad signing, he is one dimensional and even from that perspective he is not eliet (check out his -20 +/- genuis, or should I say hockey expert) Get your Flyers tissues out and get ready to start crying and count down the days to next seasons home opener, cause its about to be 36 years since the last cup, oops I forgot, they had injuries the last 36 years :)

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2010 5:25 pm

Flyers have flatlined

I agree with you, Landshark, but only until there were about 25 minutes to play in last night's game. Some have said the Flyers stopped playing with urgency after Rex knocked in the third goal last night. I think it started with about 5 minutes to go in the 2nd. At least that's when I started screaming at my TV.

Since: Jul 13, 2009
Posted on: May 6, 2010 4:33 pm

Flyers have flatlined

I couldn't agree with you more.  I thought the Flyers outplayed and outshot the Bruins through the first 2 periods.  Rask has been exceptional and the Bruins have capitalized on their chances.  To say the Flyers have flatlined is just more ridiculous ignorance by CBS sportswriters.  I'm a Bruins fan and I would be proud of the Flyers effort in this series if i were a Philly fan.  Sometimes the puck just doesn't bounce your way!!

Since: Mar 13, 2008
Posted on: May 6, 2010 1:52 pm

Flyers have flatlined

Yeah, the Bruins sure have given a blue print on how to develop players and a team the last couple of decades with all their success in the playoffs. Give me a break! Great job on developing Thornton too, Sharks truly appreciate it. These teams are very close, injuries or no injuries, games could have gone either way on any of them.

Unfortunately, all this amounts to is an opportunity to lose to the Pens next series. At least Boston is saving us the agony of being eliminated by the Pens for the 3rd straight year.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2010 1:34 pm

Flyers have flatlined

Flyers are trying...they lsot some close games....

If ever there was a year for a mircle comeback, it is this year.... both Pens and Wings look a bit weaker this year AND the 4, 6, 7 and 8 seeds knocked off 1, 2,3 and 5.

Total parity...

Could the Wings or Flyers come back?

I rate it a 1 in 8 shot ..they are equal to theri opponents and have 3 of 5 remaining games at home....each has a 1 in 16 chance if they are equal....

It could happen ...

Since: May 6, 2010
Posted on: May 6, 2010 12:53 pm

Flyers have flatlined

I'm not tearing them down, just comparing the two teams to show that you can either have star players with little depth and pray no one gets hurt, or build a system that compensates at least marginally for injuries. You can survive with the latter and will get beat with the former come playoff time. You don't build a team like its 2001 anymore. This series is a perfect example of that.

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2010 12:42 pm

Flyers have flatlined

Monty-  Why not take your win and move on. Does tearing down the other team make you feel better? Two teams evenly matched and the Bnuins it seems will get the nod on to a very Daunting task next round. Good luck!


Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2010 12:40 pm


... is absolutely killing them. I hope they eat his salary if they can't find someone to take it on in exchange for a bag of used pucks. The dude is a turnover machine. I know they've already got three minor-leaguers up with the injuries to Gagne, Carter and Laperriere, but I'd bench him in favor of anyone down on the farm at this point.

Speaking of the injuries: Stop using them as an excuse, Flyers fans. Injuries are a part of the game. Those injuries had nothing to do with that team showing absolutely no heart the second half of that game last night. None!

Since: May 6, 2010
Posted on: May 6, 2010 12:02 pm

Flyers have flatlined

Our goalie problems are due to injuries to our #1 and #2 goalie and we have to rely on Boucher?  Please, don't compare the Bruins goalie situation the Flyers.  You guys had it much easier.  What's easy about developing a goalie for 3 years to be a stud? I mean it must be pretty hard to do if the Flyers have never been able to do it...
When the two guys that were ahead of Boucher were the mercurial and oft injured Ray Emery and Michael Freaking Leighton, that point is moot. I'm not arguing this haha. Why did the Bruins have a destined number 1 starter on the bench in case the Vezina winner came back to earth? Because they have built an organization. They traded for Rask 3 years ago and DEVELOPED him. The last time the Flyers had a goalie of the future to develop...well...he played last night. 10 years after he was goalie of the future and bounced around the league.
And what 4 guys did they put all their basket eggs into?  Carter Richards Briere Gagne?  Yes, I understand that.  However, no one could have predicted Scott Hartnell's downfall this year (that's 5).  Claude Giroux didn't exactly meet expectations in his first full season (that's 6), JVR had a great start but a grinding halt of a finish (that's 7).  Yes, I know Knuble and Lupul are gone, but they were supposed to be replacable.  Then of course, we have our grinding lines.Hate to tell you, but the Bruins had 6 guys to put up 20+ last year and 1 that did it this year. Previous results are not a guarantee of future returns. You can't count on guys to play at the same level every year.  And what happens if there are injuries during the regular season to the Flyers? Do they finish dead last in the East again like they did in 07? Neither Carter or Gagne both missed the same game ONCE this year (and they still barely made the playoffs!). Incredibly good luck. The Bruins have played with their optimal lineup 6 times in 90 games. The "We have a bunch of guys who COULD score 20 goals" argument is a great one, but so doesn't most every other team in the NHL when they look at their players best case scenario production. 
Yes, with both teams being completely healthy, the series probably would not be 3-0. But this is playoff hockey. Neither team is completely healthy (No team is in the entire league, and no one is going to be). If you can't fill in your ranks and keep the machine running, then you don't deserve to keep playing. The Flyers are finding it out this year, and until they actually build an organization and implement a system (Laviolette is the right coach, the front office is shaky as always) they will continue to find out the hard way.

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