Can you believe it? It has been one month since the Flyers first game of the yea. Actually, it was the first game of the 2011-2012 NHL season. We all remember that great night where we spoiled the bruins banner night . Well now we are one month into the season. The Flyers are 4th in the east with a record of 8-4-2. Some people are surprised that they are doing well with all the changes, while others think they could be doing better. Now your about to hear where I stand on that topic.
First off, before I go into what I think about how the Flyers are doing right now, lets talk a little bit about last nights game. I did not get to see the game because I had a hockey game, but I am aware that it was a very close game (sarcasm) and the Flyers topped Columbus 9-2. JvR, Jagr, Talbot, Giroux, Voracek, two for Couturier, Simmonds, and Carle all had goals. Good to see Voracek scoring against his former team. Bryzgalov saved 33 of 35 shots having a .923 save pct. I don’t know too much about what happened, but I’m assuming the Flyers played a great game and took advantage of this Columbus team’s struggles and got the 2 points they needed.
Now, getting to what this article is really supposed to be about, my view on how the Flyers are doing. I can see why people are surprised that the new players are adjusting so quickly and how the team in all is playing some good hockey. I think they could be doing better though. For starters, Ed Snider told Holmgren to go get him a goalie and he did just that. He acquired Ilya Bryzgalov’s rights from PHX, and signed him to a 9 year, $51 million contract. With a goalie like that in net, they should have no problems winning games. Overall, Bryz has been playing pretty well, but he has had his fair share of bad games to date. During that little losing streak the team had going, he was letting up ridiculous goals and publicly admitted that he had no confidence in himself. After all that, he got back on track and started to play better so I give him props for that.
For most, if not all, of the games the Flyers have lost, they had an early lead in the game. Then what happens is they all have the mentality that the game is over, when there is 40 minutes left for the other team to catch up and thats usually what happens. Then either we hang on for deal life as Bryz or Bob keeps us in it, we lose in regulation, or we go to OT and cant score then go to a shootout which we suck in and lose. We can’t expect our goalies to have a shutout every game so our boys have to get to the point where they can play hard ALL 60 minutes of the game.
I think we can all agree that injuries are hurting us a little bit too. The big one is Chris Pronger. He took a stick to the face (eye) on October 24 and hasn’t played since. I believe that he was cleared to skate lightly this weekend by the doctor, but I don’t see him returning for a week or two. We have also had various little injuries that have kept players out of a few games. Danny Briere missed 2 or 3 games I believe, James van Riemsdyk missed a game or two due to injury, Andreas Nodl missed a game, and Matt Read has been out for a few games with an upper body injury.
Although I think the Flyers could be doing better than 8-4-2, you have to give them credit for what they have done up to this point. Over the offseason, a lot of friends left, and many new faces came. Even with that happening, this team is still finding chemistry and winning hockey games. We know have an excellent starting goalie and a guy who is very reliable backing him up. The Flyers don’t play again until Wednesday as they travel south to the St. Pete Times Forum to take on Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lighting. The Lightning are currently 6-5-2 putting them in 9th place. Well, the first month of the season is in the books. Lets look for the Flyers success to continue and for them to improve more and more each game.
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