Tuesday, March 17, 2009

20 years and counting: the Flyers still can't win in Detroit

Don't blame Marty Biron for this one.

The Flyers were seemingly in total control against the Red Wings, leading 2-0 late in the second period and cruising despite being badly outshot by the defending champs. Biron was at his best, stopping everything the Wings threw at him, and eventually made 45 saves on the night. Unfortunately, the Wings ended up with 48 shots, nearly twice as many as the Flyers (26) had, and ended up winning the game 3-2.

A late second period goal started the Red Wing rally, and they later added two more that were 1:30 apart midway through the third period and held on to win. The Flyers showed some fight at the end to try to salvage a point but they couldn't muster the same fire they had earlier in the game.

The Flyers blew a golden opportunity to win for the first time in Detroit since 1988. I looked at this game against the Red Wings as a real measuring stick for the Flyers. They have been sitting in the middle of the Eastern Conference for most of the season and they needed this test to see how far they are from being an elite team. They learned tonight that two quality periods aren't enough, it is going to take a full 60 minutes of maximum effort to beat a team like the Wings. No matter how good the guy is in net, the Flyers also need to stay on the throttle and put teams away. If you let a team as good as the Red Wings hang around, eventually they will make you pay.

Good game, Marty Biron. Hopefully next time the rest of the team will hold up their end.

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