Friday, October 2, 2009

A perfect start to the Flyers season

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
A win. 2 power play goals. A shutout. Perfect on the penalty kill. A fight. Could you have asked for anything more in the Flyers season debut?

The Flyers started off their 2009 season with a 2-0 road win against the Hurricanes in a game that was filled with positives for the team. The Flyers got their goals from two familiar faces, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, but there were several standout players new to the team this year. New goaltender Ray Emery started his Flyers career off in the best way possible, stopping 28 shots and posting a shutout. Other newcomers Chris Pronger (2 hits, 3 blocked shots) and James van Riemsdyk (1 assist, 3 shots) also had good nights as the Flyers played a complete game of hockey.

Another Flyer who played well in his debut was 4th liner Blair Betts. If you want to know why Flyers fans were so happy when the team signed the guy, just look at his 6 minutes of perfect penalty killing and the fact that he was the only Flyer with a faceoff win % above 50 (56%). Betts is the perfect role player for this team; he won't put up big numbers but he will do all the little things that win hockey games.

The only negative that I take from tonight's game was that van Riemsdyk needs more ice time if he is going to develop. JVR had 8 minutes 59 seconds of ice time tonight, third lowest on the team behind Danny Syvret and Dan Carcillo. While I did like his nearly 2 minutes of power play time, if the Flyers want to keep JVR in the NHL for this entire season, they will need to play him more.

All in all,it was the perfect start to a promising Flyers season. I think we are in store for a fun year.

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