Heading into Monday night, our orange and black brigade never fancied a promising reputation with back-to-back contests. More often than not, the Flyers would split these games between the win and loss departments, but because of the wizardry fusing Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr together on the scoreboard, and Matt Read dusting the rough off his diamond exterior, the Bullies tallied another 'W' to their record and secured their position atop the Eastern Conference against the Carolina Hurricanes.
"It's only one game. The other lines brought a lot of energy and got the team going. It was obviously a team effort tonight." ~ #28 on the roster, #1 in Philadelphia's heart.
Giroux's a humble leader in orange, that's for sure. But behind his celestial locker room interview, Claude potted two pucks and assisted on a Wayne Simmonds power-play goal last night, putting him at 11-goals scored and a total of 22-points.
As the stats currently stand, our French-Canadian star forward sits just beneath Toronto's Phil Kessel in the league's points leaders.
"I really think it starts with good leadership," said Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette. "I think our leadership has been excellent, and from there it comes down to competitiveness. We've got a good group in there that really works hard."
This Philadelphia Flyers' leadership has paved the way for younger talents such as Matt Read to grab a hold of the competitive drive within him, and continue to prove the club's scouting department to be geniuses.
The undrafted 25-year old winger hails from Bemidji State University, and has carried on as one of the club's more finishing two-way forwards.
In the seventeenth minute of the 3rd period as the Hurricanes threatened to tie the match up, Jakub Voracek took a hold of the puck after Chris Pronger broke up a Carolina pass to the slot. From there, Voracek and Read stampeded up the wings and around the retreating Tim Gleason and Jay Harrison.
Jakub drew the attention from the twine-sitting Brian Boucher enough to quickly shove the puck across the slot to the reaching blade of Matt Read --
One of the prettier executed two-on-two rushes seen this season.
A scary moment soon followed when Read slid knees first into the boards behind the net. He was slow to get up, but he managed to skate back to the benches on his own accord.
Max Talbot shall not go unrecognized, for he was also one of the grittiest Flyers to light the game's lamp.
Prior to Cam Ward being pulled in the 2nd after Simmonds' PPG, Talbot and his freshly chipped pearly whites recorded his sixth goal of the season after camping in front of the opposing goalmouth paid its remittance --
Again on the assist was Jakub Voracek, who has now chronicled his fourth consecutive game-played with one or more points scored. Before last night and Sunday evening against the Panthers, Jakub had never recorded more than two consecutive games with points scored.
Is it safe to say the enormous forward has found his niche in this roster?
It's rare to see a great game played without at least one dark cloud. That cloud loomed in the form of the letters J, V, and R in last night's tilt against the 'Canes.
James van Riemsdyk had a sorry performance all sixty minutes of regulation. His turnovers led to two Carolina goals, one of which was shorthanded. Some more led to strong chances in our defensive zone which could have been avoided had James not been so careless with the puck.
There are always negatives needed to be remedied, but JVR's stood out the most. Especially when he's bowling into our own goaltender....
Earlier on in the 2010-11 season, van Riemsdyk was having similar issues becoming more of a liability than an asset. Peter Laviolette recognized our 2nd overall draft choice's faults and decided to keep him as a healthy scratch for a few competitions. When he returned to the ice for the Flyers, it seemed his time away did some good for James and his game.
I'm not sitting here and saying Peter should repeat the decision, but it's apparent JVR is not the dominating force he ended as in Philadelphia's post-season last May.
Sergei Bobrovsky took up shop between the pipes and ended the match stopping 17 of 20 shots against him (.850 SV%). Laviolette has yet to test Ilya Bryzgalov's durability in back-to-back games which is starting to torment my nerves.
I understand we want to give Bob his reps, and we certainly do not want to tire out our franchise goalie in the first half of the schedule, but it's time to see what our $51M Man can do in 48-hours of athletic clash. Bobrovsky may be the future (or whatever the hell he is now, considering Bryz is anchored in net longer than the collegiate career of a med student) but this is exactly what Ilya's paid to do.
Until next time, fans.....good night. Good hockey.