This morning's game reviews are focusing primarily on Briere's questionable shootout goal where we all saw him come to a "complete stop" prior to flipping the puck over a snowed Johan Hedberg --
The play was reviewed, but due to it initially being called a goal by the officials and there not being any indisputable evidence against the fact Briere kept skating, the play stood as a goal.
But I'm not going to get into that. We lost anyway, so what the hell does it matter now?
What I am going to dissect is the fact our Flyers should never have even gone to a shootout. Or overtime. Our boys should have skated off the ice after the final buzzer with a 'W' in the win column, 3 - 1.
Because of two of our skaters in particular, and their absolutely atrocious play throughout last night's rivaled match up, Sergei Bobrovsky's got an undeserved loss under his belt.
Andreas Lilja and Matt Carle stood out as the worst performers on the ice thirteen hours ago that easily cost us two of the three goals against. Whether it was Meszaros handing off a pass to Lilja in our zone, and Lilja accepting the puck by soccer-style kicking it straight into a storming Adam Henrique....
....or a poor decision from Matt Carle to turnover the puck in our center lane to an awaiting David Clarkson....
....there's no question it was two of our defensemen assisting the New Jersey Devils in their fifth victory of the season.
"But, Mike, everyone makes mistakes."
Truth. Everyone does make mistakes. We're human. However, Carle and Lilja could not play a body all evening long, handle a puck, or defend a rush. It wasn't just each of their turnovers that the Devils capitalized on. They were skating liabilities with every falling second off the game clock.
When Carle is good, then he's great. But usually that's dependent on Chris Pronger being active on the roster. The young kid has talent, but he also has a major tendency to be more frustrating. He needs our Captain as a linemate.
Lilja? Each and every time I watch this guy during one of his shifts I question why management didn't just re-sign Sean O'Donnell. We were promised an effective PK player when the news broke we signed free agent Andreas Lilja.
He spent most of his years in Detroit Rock City skating with the Red Wings. The moment he jotted his signature on an Orange and Black contract, I had a handful of my Wings friends warn me that this guy's nowhere close to what he apparently used to be.
"Lilja's slow. His positioning sucks. You'll hate him in the first week of the schedule."
I figured, "Whatever. He'll skate with Meszaros as a sixth d-man. Mesz and Old Balls O'Donnell paired well last season. Lilja and Meszaros could do well together this season."
Nope. My Hockeytown friends were correct. Thank you for the fair warning.
When Chris Pronger returns I will be surprised if Lilja is not the healthy scratch and our called-up, rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson nabs a starting job. And speaking of his return, I wouldn't mind hearing about Pronger giving Carle the business in the locker room, circa Giroux from last season. After a performance like that, Matt deserves ten lashings Judge William Adams style (oh, calm down you hyper sensitive milksops).
Recently our new guy filling the #17 sweater has been under extreme scrutiny for not showing up like he did in the pre-season and earlier on in the schedule.
Wayne Simmonds hasn't fallen in the points-scoring category since he assisted on a goal in the loss against St. Louis. He hasn't potted his own puck since our reign through Ottawa. In his last five tilts he has a +/- rating of minus-3, and because of this drought a lot of chatter's hit the social networking airwaves that "he sucks", or "Mike Richards is laughing his ass off."
Well, that's cute and all, but our fans were spoiled rotten with Simmonds' hot start in a Flyers jersey.
Allow me to educate (Me? Educate? Scary, I know); Wayne Simmonds is a grinder. He's a tough guy. A skater placed on the line to loosen pucks along the boards, add that physicality and character, and pick up the garbage left open in, or around, the crease.
When Wayne tucks a puck top shelf from outside the slot or makes a magical pass through a forest of icy stick blades and frozen skates, then he's paying dividends. A bonus, if you will.
Another thing to keep in mind are the injuries.
Simmonds is a nomad out there. He's been placed on a handful of different line combinations the last two weeks that it's tough to establish any role or chemistry. Not to mention he skated with Andreas Nodl last night.
Don't get me wrong, I think Nodl is a good 4th liner and penalty-kill player. But Simmonds and his skillset belongs on a line with a natural scorer.
If it weren't for the fact Scott Hartnell's done so well with the front assault, that left wing position would be filled valiantly by a player like Wayne.
Just because he's hit a rough patch of ice (no pun intended) doesn't mean he isn't the same physical loud mouth, capable of getting his stick under the puck and putting the trash in the back of the cage. The man's an asset without question. And if you, or anyone else for that matter, think otherwise then that's entirely on you and your stupidity. Good luck with that. I hear Play~Skool is coming out with a bunch of new toys this Holiday season for you to ask mommy and daddy to buy.
Enjoy your coloring books.
One thing I believe we can all agree on is how well Max Talbot's been standing out from the rest of the herd. The twenty-seven year old skater has been a force to reckon with, especially throughout last night's tilt where he almost had two breakaway goals, and one that lead to a Penalty Shot --
Talbot's not exactly known for his puck handling, but his energy and tenacity is what's winning over the hearts of Flyers fans nationwide. What was once considered one of our most hated rival players in the NHL, has already worn the alternate captain's patch and gotten cheers from a home attendance in a Flyers sweater.
I knew it wouldn't take long before people forgot the Talbot of past and accepted that fact that we have one of the hardest working skaters and effective PK players in the league.
Hats off to you Max! Now change your Goddamn Twitter handle already!
Hold the phone. Did any of you notice THIS GUY?? --
Can someone please tell me why the people at Comcast are now plugging this CSN Philly Coach? Is this going to be a new thing now.....like, every single game?
I'm not sure if you noticed it or not, but our broadcast featured some dude in a red track suit posing as (I guess?) a sports team's coach. The camera would cut to this guy during intermissions and stoppage of play, and he'd be showing our attending fans (see above) new CSNPhilly apps, or something, for their phones and whatnot.
I dunno. I wasn't really listening. I was too busy plotting my next trip to the Wells Fargo Center, running into this guy and tossing a tray full of hot nachos and my fountain soda in his face.
Whatever this campaign is, it needs to stop. It was outrageously awkward. When fans like the ones shown above weren't playing along for the viewers at home, the Coach cornered our very own Tim Panaccio during the second intermission where we were forced to watch the both of them act out a skit like the new technical features on Panotch's phone were the next coming of POV pornography.
Instead, what I noticed was an awfully pitched ad, acted out by two guys who have no business being the faces of whatever brand product is being sold to the consumer. Trash it. Trash it now.
At least we got a point out of all this.
Don't miss Saturday's game against the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets at the Well, puck dropping at 7:00pm.
Good night. Meh' Hockey.