When you’re desperate for points, staring at 1-8 in your first nine games, it doesn’t have to be pretty. And this one surely wasn’t. But it was the type of tilt that the orange and black just haven’t been able to pull out, until tonight. Could this effort be the catalyst for a turnaround? It’s far too early to make a definitive statement like that, but you can’t understate the importance of two points, especially over a struggling, Metro division foe. Again, it wasn’t pretty, but it was necessary.
Here’s a closer look into the victory:
- Matt Read was a beast in all three zones tonight. He picked up the Flyers initial goal off a great short-handed takeaway. Then, he followed that up with another steal, and subsequent game-winning assist; this time in the offensive zone. In between, there were plenty of other great two-way plays by #24. These are the type of hard-fought performances we expect from the Bemidji State product.
- Braydon Coburn picked up the game-winning goal off a booming slap-shot from the point (his 2nd of the season). But the defender continued his streaky play in the defensive zone. He could have easily been the goat as he redirected Brad Richards goal for New York. And, unfortunately, followed that with several dangerous turnovers. But, in the end, we’d trade those close calls for game-winning goals any day.
- Steve Mason continued his stellar Philadelphia career with 30 saves. He looks unbelievably confident handling the puck and came up with some huge saves. And fortunately, two goals was just enough support tonight.
- Max Talbot is a true warrior. He took a grizzly, face-first plant into the boards, courtesy of Benoit Pouliot, and still managed to return in the third. The dangerous looking play resulted in a 5 minute power-play, but the Flyers could not capitalize. They’re just 1 for their last 25 on the man-advantage. But the most important thing is the health of Talbot.
- The top-line of Raffl-Giroux-Lecavalier had a few chances, but still seemed a little out of sync. Eventually someone will fit on Giroux’s wings. My money is on a return of Voracek and/or Hartnell at some point soon.
- Even without Lundqvist, and with the Rangers coming in at 2-5, there’s a lot to feel good about after this game. Biggest positive: Health. They didn’t lose any key pieces and came out with two points. Biggest Negative: The PP. It’s kind of hard to believe that a power-play with so much talent could look so listless, but the Flyers do.
The Flyers (2-7) season continues with a 7 p.m. match-up Saturday night on Long Island against the other New York hockey team (3-3-3 record).