There’s been so much negativity surrounding Kimmo Timonen, the grizzled 38-year old Finnish defender lately that it seemed the former stalwart would never break out of his slump. But Tuesday night in Philadelphia, the monkey came off #44’s back, as he scored the game winning goal on a nifty little maneuver that would have made Claude Giroux proud. On top of his goal, Timonen also added two assists as the Flyers rolled through a struggling Senators squad, 5-2. The team that once looked like a sinking ship at 1-7, now has life at 8-10-2.
Let’s take a closer look into this key victory:
- I know it’s getting repetitive, but Steve Mason was unbelievable once again. I don’t know how this 25-year old net-minder ever became a scapegoat for the Blue Jacket’s issues. He stopped 32 of 34 shots and performed a few acts of pure larceny when it was still a close game. His save on Kyle Turris’ penalty shot was a thing of beauty. Hopefully this is the Steve Mason we see for the rest of his Flyers career.
- It cannot be understated how important Nicklas Grossmann has been to the Flyers this season. He’s been an absolute rock on the blueline, and probably saved the game with his skate save on Kyle Turris on a wide-open net in the 3rd period. On top of that he assisted on Adam Hall’s much deserved empty net goal.
- And that’s the perfect transition into our next unsung hero: 4th Liner Adam Hall. Over the past 6 or 7 games he’s been at/or around 80% on faceoff’s; which is just astonishing. He’s an ace penalty killer and isn’t afraid to step up for his teammates. Overall, he’s essentially the perfect 4th liner and he’s a big reason why Paul Holmgren felt comfortable trading Max Talbot.
- The Flyers absolutely have to reduce their penalties, especially the “delay of games” where they send the puck over the glass. The PK has been good, but they’re playing with fire.
- Seeing Sean Couturier get off his 20+ game goalless drought was a thing of beauty; however, the goal was not. But I don’t think Couts cares at all. He’s one of the hardest working Flyers and is excellent defensively so it was a nice treat to see him get that slump behind him.
- The top-6 forwards (Giroux, Voracek, Hartnell, Lecavalier, Schenn, and Simmonds) were locked in last night. And the 3rd line wasn’t too shabby either. Here’s hoping that trend continues.
The Flyers look to move closer to .500 on Thursday when they take on the hapless Buffalo Sabres. The orange and black cannot underestimate this team, however, as there are hundreds of instances of terrible teams coming up with herculean efforts- and the Sabres have an excellent tandem in net of Ryan Miller and Jonas Ehnroth- to upset superior squads. Tune in at 7 p.m. Thursday to see if your orange and black can continue their hot streak.