Friday, January 1, 2010

Flyers downed by Bruins in Winter Classic

(Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
It wasn't the best-played hockey game but that didn't make it any less fun to watch. The Winter Classic was classic indeed, more for the spectacle of the game than the game itself. With a huge crowd on hand at Fenway Park, the Flyers were beaten by the Bruins 2-1 in overtime in a sloppy but hard-fought game.

Despite the loss, Michael Leighton continues to be a revelation in net for the Flyers. Leighton nearly picked up his second straight shutout after turning aside 23 of 25 shots by the Bruins, letting up a goal in the final minutes of the game. If Leighton, who is now 4-0-1 as a Flyer with a 1.75 goals against average, continues to play this well, I see no reason why he can't take over as the Flyers starter. Yeah, he isn't likely to lead the Flyers to a Stanley Cup, but I don't know how you can't keep playing the hot hand in net.

The lone goal for the Flyers was scored by defenseman Danny Syvret, his first career goal in 44 games in the NHL. The Flyers had several chances, especially in the second period on a few odd-man rushes, but always seemed to make one pass too many as they tried to set up the pretty goal rather than trying to just put the puck on net.

As for the bigger picture, the Flyers now have points in their last 5 games and find themselves in the 9th seed in the Eastern Conference. Suddenly, the season that seemed like a total wash is turning slightly respectable. While no one expects a Stanley Cup run this season, with the talent this team has, there is no reason why they couldn't fight their way into the playoffs and make a little noise for a round or two. After how awful they were playing just a few weeks ago, that would be quite an accomplishment.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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