Monday, May 3, 2010

Flyers lose another close one, dig 0-2 hole

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The Flyers and Bruins certainly are two evenly matched teams. If they played 100 times, it's likely that each would win somewhere between 48 and 52 times. That thought isn't comforting to the Flyers at the moment, however, because they now find themselves in a 0-2 hole after losing Game Two due to a game winning goal late in the third period by Milan Lucic in a 3-2 Bruins win.

Game Two was close throughout as each team controlled play for stretches at a time. The first two periods were nearly identical in terms of when each team scored, with the Bruins finding the back of the net before the midway point in each period and the Flyers chipping in a goal late in each period. When it mattered most, with the game tied at 2 in the third, the Flyers seemed to run out of gas as they failed to generate much of anything on offense at all, managing only 5 shots as they allowed the Bruins to dictate play. Late in the third, the Flyers couldn't hold on anymore and got stuck in their own end before Lucic slapped a shot past Boucher with just under 3 minutes left to play. The game winner seemed inevitable as the Bruins simply outworked the Flyers nearly all night long and earned themselves a win.

The Flyers may be starting to feel the affects of having Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne and Ian Laperriere out of the lineup. Being down three contributing forwards weakens the 4th line and forces the Flyers to get as many minutes as they possibly can from Claude Giroux (23:35), Mike Richards (23:13) and Danny Briere (20:50). Whereas the Flyers used to be able to roll out their entire bench and give Giroux, Richards and Briere a breather from time to time, now Giroux and Richards are having to rack up powerplay and penalty kill minutes while Briere plays a ton of even strength minutes. Injuries are never a great excuse for losing but they certainly are starting to take their toll on the Flyers.

The series now turns back to Philadelphia as the Flyers must return serve and protect their home ice. While it might seem like being down 0-2 is a huge hole, nothing is over at this point. With how close each game has been, if a few bounces had gone their way the Flyers easily could be the ones up by 2 games. Of course, if they really want to make it a series, the Flyers are going to need to get some contributions offensively from someone other than Richards, Briere or Giroux. Whether they have anyone capable of doing that is another question.

Don't lose faith yet, Flyers fans. Everything changes when this series shifts to Philly and we show the Bruins what a playoff building really sounds like. Expect the Flyers to come out with some extra jump as they now find themselves in a must-win Game 3. This team isn't about to go out without a fight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I told ya the bruins would kick ass.