Archive of Orange and Black Pack Articles
 


It's become a ritual of the Flyers to allow some opposing player in a scoring drought to snap it and get back into the points column with the rest of his teammates and colleagues. 


Frankly, it's embarrassing. 


How many times this season have we heard Jim Jackson say something like, "[First][Last Name] has now scored his first goal in [an obscene amount of] games! Only his [single digit] goal of the season," after he had just planted it behind Bryzgalov or Bobrovsky?



This past weekend was a Philadelphia sports fan's nightmare. It's sent me into the work week feeling miserable, physically ill, and so furious that I just don't know what to do with myself. 


Saturday's match up against the New Jersey Devils was a heaving kick to the groins. It seems every season the NHL puts out a schedule of games that slaps our Flyers in two or three afternoon trap games, and ALWAYS versus the Devils. 


Now, if you aren't familiar with the phrase "trap game", it is game your team enters into with the tendency of already having their minds on the following game. Traditionally this leads your team to underestimate the current opponent at hand, therefore falling to them in a final decision. 


That's exactly what happened Saturday afternoon when our boys got spanked 6 - 4 by New Jersey. Twenty-four hours later the Flyers skated onto Madison Square Garden's ice where they faced off against the Rangers for the first time since the Winter Classic. 


Despite two game tying goals by the orange & black, Ilya Bryzgalov let up two unbelievably soft shots which eliminated the Flyers chances of keeping the game tied or going ahead. 


Saturday and Sunday. Two games. Two losses. Both in regulation time. Oh, and the New York football Giants won the goddamn Super Bowl last night. A team that had no business even being in the post-season is now the NFL's 2011 Champion. 



Since the All-Star break, the Flyers have a 1 - 2 - 1 record and look to take on the Islanders tomorrow night in Philadelphia. After their last tilt against the Isles, no one's feeling confident that Philly can put them away and get back on the winning track. 


In fact, before the puck even drops I've gone to Islanders roster to see which of their skaters hasn't contributed to the goal-scoring column in awhile. 


Why?


So I can choose them as a scorer for the evening and win some money. 


Like I said when I began this article -- The Flyers have made it a 2011-12 tradition to allow a countering player to nourish his parched stats sheet. Let's take a look at past opponents and examples since the Winter Classic to give us some perspective:


 

February 5, 2012

Artem Anisimov scores a goal in the second minute of the 1st period against the Flyers. His eighth of the season, and first goal since December 20th, 2011 against the New Jersey Devils.

Brandon Dubinsky scores his sixth goal of the season in the 3rd period. His first since January 6th, 2012 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ruslan Fedotenko scores an empty goal. Does it count in this analysis? You be the judge. But it was his first since January 10th, 2012 against the Phoenix Coyotes. Fedotenko's seventh goal of the season. 



February 4, 2012
 
Kurtis Foster pots two goals (1, 2) in the same tilt. His third and fourth goals of the 2011-12 season. The first time he's scored since January 14th, 2012 against the Winnipeg Jets. 

Alexei Ponikarovsky scores in the 2nd period. His second goal in the last 23-games played. His ninth of the season. 


 
February 2, 2012

Ryan Suter snaps a 28-game goal drought when he lit Nashville's only lamp in the 3rd period. His sixth of the season.  
 
January 31, 2012


Another opponent who only managed to score one goal in regulation time, thanks to the stick of Chris Thorburn -- a man who had not scored an NHL goal since March 19th, 2011 of the 2010-11 season. But he finally broke that skid against the Flyers in the third minute of the 2nd period.  
 
January 24, 2012

A 35yr old Mike Samuelsson scores his third goal of the season in the third minute of the 1st period. His first since January 6th, 2012 against the New Jersey Devils. 

Tomas Fleischmann welcomes his first goal of the 2012 calendar year, who had not lit the lamp since December 31st, 2011 against Montreal.


 
January 22, 2012
David Krejci scores his first goal in eight games in the second minute of the 3rd period. His 11th goal of the season. Since then, he hasn't seen the goals-scored column. 

Gregory Campbell scores his sixth of the season, his second in ten games. He has also not lifted the twine since that date. 


 
January 21, 2012

New Jersey's only goal came from Alexei Ponikarovsky who snapped a seventeen game drought. His eighth goal of the season, his first since December 13th, 2011 against Toronto. 

January 19, 2012
It wasn't since December 13th, 2011 against Montreal that Islanders forward Josh Bailey scored a goal. He broke that drought against the Flyers in the 2nd period. His fourth goal of the season, first in his last sixteen games played.

Mark Streit scores his third goal of the season in the 3rd period. His first since November 17th, 2011 against the Canadiens. He has yet to score a goal since that date.

  

January 17, 2012       
Darroll Powe puts the puck on a rope and past Ilya Bryzgalov for his fourth goal of the season, his first in sixteen games (December 8th, 2011 against the Los Angeles Kings). 
 
January 14, 2012

Nick Spaling scores his seventh goal of the season, his second in his last ten games played. Nick has yet to score another goal since then.  

Mike Fischer -- who as of late has gone on a scoring rampage -- broke a nine game goalless streak against the Flyers, accomplishing only his eighth scored of the season. It was an empty netter, so again....it's up to you to judge. 


 
January 10, 2012

Jerome Samson scores his first NHL career goal in the 2nd period. 
 
January 08, 2012
Colin Greening scores his ninth of the season, his first in his last nine games played, his third in his last twenty-two games played. 

Filip Kuba pots his fourth goal of the season, his first in his last six games played. He has yet to score another goal since that night. And it was an empty netter. 


 
January 07, 2012

Bobby Butler scores his fourth goal of the season, his first in his last six games played. The RW has only managed to light the lamp once since that night. 
 
January 05, 2012

Called up rookie Jimmy Hayes scores his second career goal.

Rookie Andrew Shaw scores his first NHL career goal.  
 
January 02, 2012
Tough guy Mike Rupp winds up beating Sergei Bobrovsky twice (1, 2) in the Bridgestone's 2012 NHL Winter Classic, his second and third goals of the season, his first time tickling the twine since October 18th, 2011 against Vancouver. 

He's managed to only score once more since his two against us. 
   

In case you're asking, I skipped one game in that list of contests since our match up under Philadelphia's night sky, and that was our meeting against the Islanders on January 12th where Okposo and Tavares scored on our netminder. Neither were in the midst of any goal-scoring struggle. 


Don't let it fool you, the Winter Classic is NOT where this established practice of players breaking skids against us began. It dates behind January 2nd as well. This list is just a window to show you how ridiculous it's become. Is it coincidence? Maybe. But that's one hell of a chunk of synchronism. 


So what does it tell us?


It could mean a variety of things; Soft goals, an over-aggressive defense putting more pressure on the scorers while leaving the scrubs open, defective backchecking, etc etc etc. It's gotta stop. 



Oh, and if you're looking to make easy money tomorrow night then I suggest checking out the Islanders stats sheet. Find a player who hasn't raised his teammates arms in the air since we were hearing Christmas music, and drop $100 on him splitting our wickets. 





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