More Lost Leads, More Misery | Isles Shutdown Broad St in Shootout, 4 - 3 >

by Timothy March

Friday, March 29, 2013 --

The Islanders came calling on a beleaguered Flyers team Thursday night with normal roles reversed.  The Islanders were battling to usurp the Rangers and King Henrik from the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern conference, while our Broad Street boys needed points just to keep from hitting the rocky bottom. Not exactly the implications we've become accustom to over the past few seasons.  Nonetheless, the show must go on.

The Flyers got rolling early on in the first stanza as their league’s 2nd place power play struck.  Scott Hartnell took a feed from Captain Claude Giroux and beat Nabokov with a blistering one-timer.  Ok, ok it wasn't exactly a fireball off the stick of #19, more of a Phil Niekro-esque knuckleball.  That is something Flyers fans became all too familiar with last season, Giroux to Hartnell in the slot on the power play for the one-time lamp lighter.  This season that has been more non-existent than Frosty’s pasty white ass if he set foot in Lucifer’s kitchen.

Later in the frame veteran Mike Knuble, a late entry to the lineup, took yet another feed from Giroux, dangled the pants off of the Islanders twine sitter , and slid a saucy backhander into the yawning cage.

It was a tumultuous opening 20 to say the least as the Flyers held the lead, but the Islanders carried much of the play.  Often spending minutes on end peppering Bryzgalov’s net, the team from Long Island outshot the Flyers 14-9.

Throughout the second period Philly began rolling wave after wave of attack towards Evgeni Nabokov and the Islanders.  Despite outshooting the Islanders 14-10 (11-1 at one point in the period), the Flyers again lacked the ability to land the knockout blow.  And as the sands trickled from the hourglass, the Flyers gave up a backbreaking late frame goal.  Tavares netted his 21st of the season on a wild double deflection where the disc hit Schenn and ultimately Gustafsson before settling in the back of the Flyers net.  Pretty much sums up how this game, and overall, the season has gone in South Philly. To top it off, Just seconds later Brayden Schenn took a bonehead penalty when he clipped the back of Nabokov’s skates and sent him tumbling to the ice like the roof of the Hartford Civic Center.  I have to give credit where credit is due.  Nabokov sold that better than Larry and Andy Wachowski selling the American Public that Keanu Reeves was actually smart and knew computers…braaah.  But I digress…

The Islanders failed to capitalize on their man advantage to start the third, but carried the momentum they gained throughout much of the final 20.  Eventually Islanders winger Colin McDonald ripped a shot past Ilya Bryzgalov tying the contest at two-apiece.  Not even five minutes later McDonald struck again on a defensive zone meltdown.  

The bewildered Flyers look like a herd of deer in the headlights of an oncoming semi.  Sloppy play in all three zones led to the Islanders capitalizing and stretching their noses in front.  Were it not for late game heroics from Scott Hartnell, who netted just his fourth marker of the season with 30 seconds left, the Flyers would have hung their heads in disappointment after 60 minutes.  Lucky for them,  they got to wait another couple to do that as they fell in the ridiculous spectacle that is the shootout.

Yet again, the Flyers found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  This team has yet to put together a solid 60 minute performance all year long.  At this point, there isn’t much bench boss Laviolette can do with the lines.  You have to wonder where the organization as a whole goes from here.  Do they stand pat and wait for next season to come, or will they make a drastic move to yet again alter the face of a franchise that deserves so much more?  

Time will tell, but for now all I do know is that this turd just won’t flush.  Until next time, Flyers fans, hang tight, we can only go up from here?

Tim's After The Whistle Rough Stuff

Ok, the gloves are off.  Time to put the women and children to bed and go hunting for supper.  
I did an entire game review without dropping one “F” bomb on you.  Something I haven’t been able to watch an entire game without doing this season. 

What the fuckity fuck have the Philadelphia Flyers become?  You want to talk about a play that sums up the entire 2013 season?  Lubomir Visnovsky blatantly destroys Claude Giroux from behind and leaves him in a crumbled heap on the ice.  What retribution was befallen upon him?  Not a god damned thing.  He got muffed by Jake Voracek who hit him about as hard as you would expect from him….

That shit would not have flown on a Philadelphia Flyers team in the past.  So why the hell is it now?

I know you hear it all the time, and I feel it is an overused term, but this team lacks an identity. Nobody is standing up for anyone.  Nobody is taking charge out on the ice. You have to start wondering if there is a rift on this team that is pulling them apart like California at the San Andreas fault. Giroux is lost. Hartnell is lost.  This organization is in deep, deep trouble.  And it starts from the top down.

* * * *

If you thought the defense was in rough shape before Thursday night, just wait, it gets better. Braydon Coburn sat out the third stanza with a dreaded upper body-injury.  The extent of Braydon's injury should be clarified sometime Friday. 

Meanwhile, Oliver Lauridsen, Andreas Lilja and Danny Syvret are among the potential call-ups from the AHL Phantoms. Personally, I'd love to see Oliver "the Great Dane" Lauridsen get his chance with the big club. Kid's got enormous size, he's a stay-at-home defenseman, and adds a lot of dominating physicality behind our net -- which is needed [see: Rick Nash's wrap-around]

* * * *

There is one faint ray of sunshine peeking through the dark clouds on the horizon.  Thought to be a sure thing to sign with the Detroit Red Wings at 7:30pm, defensive college prospect Danny DeKeyser has decided to wait until tomorrow to make his announcement. 

This just mere hours after Flyers owner Ed Snider flew to Toronto to make a pitch for the 6’0 200lb 23-year-old defenseman that Paul Holmgren dubbed “The Complete Package”. Guess we will have to wait and see.  Here’s hoping we get some good news for once. This season hasn't exactly been chock-full-o sunshine and rainbows in old Flyer-land.

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